12/05/2015 6:05PM

Much-improved Room for Me captures Garland of Roses

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Room for Me began the year running for a claiming price of $12,500. She ended it as a three-time stakes winner who placed in a pair of graded events.

Room for Me capped her solid 5-year-old season with a dominant 3 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Garland of Roses Stakes at Aqueduct. Princess Violet, making her first start off a six-month layoff, rallied for second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of La Madrina. Jubilant Vision, the 53-1 pacesetter, finished fourth, followed by Classic Point and Nuffsaid Nuffsaid.

The win was the ninth from 21 career starts for Room for Me, a 5-year-old daughter of Harlington. She went 5 for 10 since Jacobson claimed her for $12,500 last Feb. 12 when he was looking for horses to run in New York’s inaugural Claiming Championships last March.

“She’s the real deal,” said Jacobson, who is also the owner of Room for Me.

In addition to three listed stakes wins, Room for Me ran third in the Grade 1 Ballerina and second in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap.

Jacobson thought enough of Room for Me to run her in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. She finished seventh, beaten 5 3/4 lengths behind Wavell Avenue, after hitting her head on the starting gate.

There was no such mishap on Saturday. Breaking from post 3 under Irad Ortiz Jr., Room for Me sat fourth on the inside after Jubilant Vision ran an opening quarter in 22.52 seconds. Moving around the far turn, Ortiz guided her through along the inside and then tipped her outside of Jubilant Vision approaching the quarter pole.

Straightening away in the stretch, Room for Me took control and drew clear for an easy victory while running six furlongs in a sharp 1:09.87. She returned $3.90 as the 4-5 favorite.

“I had a perfect trip,” Ortiz said. “I broke good, they went and I sat. I didn’t have any chance to get outside of horses so I had to stay on the inside. At the three-eighths pole I had some room, I put myself there and she got through. After that she took off.”

Jacobson said he would likely keep Room for Me in New York and point to the $100,000 Interborough Stakes over the inner track on Jan. 9.

Meanwhile, trainer Mike Hushion was pleased with the effort by Princess Violet, a Grade 1 winner who was making her first start since finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps last June.

“I thought she ran well,” Hushion said. “I was happy with the trip Junior [Alvarado] gave her, saving ground until the five-sixteenths pole.”

Hushion said he would likely look to run Princess Violet “a little bit further” next time.