01/10/2015 6:20PM

Parranda gets dream trip to win Marshua's River

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Barbara D. Livingston
Parranda wins the Marshua's RIver Stakes by three lengths Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Parranda returned quick dividends after being purchased two months earlier at the Keeneland November Sale, parlaying her inherent class and a perfect ride by jockey John Velazquez into a popular three-length victory over Skylander Girl in Saturday’s Grade 3 Marshua’s River at Gulfstream Park.

Parranda was bought for $800,000 at Keeneland November by the China Horse Club and immediately transferred to the barn of trainer Christophe Clement at Payson Park. The daughter of English Channel was Grade 1 placed three times in 2014 while with trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, concluding her campaign with a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.  She started her career locally with Rodolfo Garcia.

Parranda raced well placed while saving ground from the outset behind the pace-setting Skylander Girl. Parranda went up to challenge the leader once settling into the stretch, readily assuming command inside the sixteenth pole, then drew off to a convincing win. Skylander narrowly held off the late-running Why Katherine to finish second in the field of 10 older fillies and mares.

Parranda returned $4.60 after completing 1 1/16 miles over a firm course in 1:42.53.

“The filly was bought for a race in Singapore on the third week in February, but she obviously does well at Gulfstream too,” said Clement. “She can always go to Singapore and come back. Why not? This is the best preparation she could have. It was not a tough race. If she comes out of it in good shape, we’ll go from there.”

Clement was quick to praise the ride Parranda received from Velazquez.

“It was an amazing trip,” said Clement. “There’s a reason why Johnny Velazquez has been leading rider so many times. This should be the kind of race you should show apprentices, young kids. This was a dream trip.”