01/17/2015 5:33PM

Pink Poppy makes late move to win Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf

Tom Keyser
Pink Poppy wins the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Julien Leparoux has a reputation of being a sit-and-wait jockey, but a sudden move aboard Pink Poppy down the backstretch was the key to an 11-1 upset Saturday in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park.

“They were backing up on us, and I didn’t want to fight her,” Leparoux said afterward. “I let her run free, and she did the rest. She finished up strong and didn’t get tired.”

One of three fillies in the 1 1/16-mile turf race trained by Marty Wolfson, Pink Poppy had been eligible for a second-level allowance condition. The 4-year-old daughter of Tiznow was bred in Florida by her owner, the Arindel Farm of Alan Cohen.

“We just wanted to win a stake with her,” Wolfson said when asked what the future might hold for the filly.

After her bold outside run to a clear lead approaching the half-mile pole, Pink Poppy was able to fend off Waterway Run, the 2-1 second choice, when prevailing by 1 1/2 lengths. Awesome Flower was third, another half-length back in a field of 10, while Speed Seeker, the 2-1 favorite, had a tough trip when fifth.

Pink Poppy, now a winner in 3 of 7 career starts, returned $25.40 after finishing in 1:43.51 over a firm course.

The $2 exacta (2-6) paid $109.20, the $1 trifecta (2-6-8) returned $322.20, and the 10-cent superfecta (2-6-8-7) was worth $186.80.