07/30/2013 3:57PM

Lone Star Park: Lasting Bubbles may head to Ellis Park for Grade 3 Gardenia


Lasting Bubbles is in the best form of her career, and as a result she could get a shot at graded company next week in the $100,000 Gardenia at Ellis Park.

Trainer Kevin Peek said Lasting Bubbles, based on a farm near Texarkana, Texas, is scheduled to work later this week at either Louisiana Downs or Lone Star Park. It would be her prep for a possible start in the Gardenia, a Grade 3, one-mile race for fillies and mares on Aug. 10.

“We’re looking at the Gardenia pretty seriously,” Peek said. “She’s doing so good now that if we were ever going to give her a shot at stepping up now would be the time to do it. If it doesn’t work out, we have the Ricks Memorial at Remington.”

Lasting Bubbles was a 7 1/4-length winner of the $50,000 Valor Farm for Texas-bred fillies and mares at Lone Star Park in her last start July 6. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96, the third time she has put up such a number in her last five starts. She also earned the Beyer for an optional $25,000 claiming win at Oaklawn in February, and for her five-length romp in the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station Stakes at Lone Star in April.

“She seems to be getting better,” Peek said. “Now might be the time to take a chance. Her confidence is at an all-time high. I think she knows she’s been winning some races.”

Lasting Bubbles races for Peek’s parents, Martin and Judy Peek, and he said the mare gave the couple their first stakes win in the JEH Stallion Station. Lasting Bubbles is a 5-year-old by Pulling Punches, who won a pair of restricted stakes at Laurel and Philadelphia Park between 1998 and 1999. Lasting Bubbles is out of the mare Slim’s Secret, a stakes winner at the Downs at Albuquerque back in 2001. Peek said his father purchased the mare for about $500 from an owner looking to downsize his stable.

Lasting Bubbles did not launch her career until she was 4, winning her debut in a $15,000 maiden-claiming race at Lone Star last June. Peek said her size – she stands 17 hands tall – was one of the reasons for the late start to her career. He said she was given time to mature, to grow into her tall frame.

“She’s only been running for 13 months,” Peek said. “She was late to get to the track and it’s paid off so far. She’s sound and doing real well. She really has come into her own.”

Fabio Arguello Jr., who is riding at Louisiana Downs and soon plans to start breezing horses at Remington for the meet that opens Aug. 16, is scheduled to work Lasting Bubbles.