04/01/2017 3:17PM

Summersault completes perfect meet with Orchid victory

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Barbara D. Livingston
Summersault wins the Orchid Stakes on Saturday for her third victory in as many starts at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Firm ground and a fast pace enabled Summersault to complete a perfect Gulfstream Park winter meet as she outfinished odds-on favorite Olorda in the stretch to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Orchid Stakes by three-quarters of a length.

Olorda, the 3-5 favorite who took over the lead in upper stretch, finished second by three lengths over Quiet Kitten. Temple Fur and the pace-setting Maquette completed the order of finish.

Summersault, a 5-year-old New York-bred daughter of Rock Hard Ten, won for the third time in as many tries this Gulfstream meet; she is 6 for 22 overall. This was the first stakes victory for Summersault, owned by William Parsons Jr. and David Howe and trained by Mark Hennig.

Under Paco Lopez, Summersault was in the rear of the compact field as a rank Maquette, making her first start in the U.S., ran off to an open-length advantage through a quarter in 23.47 seconds, a half-mile in 46.12 and six furlongs in 1:10.54.

Midway down the backstretch, Summersault moved in tandem with Temple Fur into contention. Nearing the top of the stretch, Olorda took over from Maquette, but Summersault collared Olorda in midstretch and was able to outfinish her to the wire.

Summersault covered the 1 3/8 miles in 2:12.24 and returned $20 as the longest shot in the five-horse field.

“When she can hear her feet rattle over it she does well,” Hennig said. “She also likes to get down inside and get into trouble. I was a little concerned when the field spread out that much because sometimes when she finds daylight and is by herself a little bit she’ll kind of lose focus. I thought Paco was good and patient with her, it looked like they were running on up front. Once he got up in behind them I got a lot more confident.”

Hennig did not have anything in mind for Summersault’s next start.