12/31/2016 7:32PM

Ultra Brat ($75.40) surprises in Tropical Oaks

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Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
Ultra Brat went off at 35-1 in the Tropical Park Oaks.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Ultra Brat, with limited turf experience going into Saturday’s $75,000 Tropical Park Oaks, rallied from just off the pace to a one-length victory over Shaan as a 35-1 outsider to pull off a stunning victory for trainer H. Graham Motion in the final race of the 2016 season at Gulfstream Park.

Try Your Luck, the 2-1 favorite, finished a nose farther back in third.

Ultra Brat had made just two previous starts on grass prior to the Tropical Oaks, winning the six-furlong Christiecat late this summer at Belmont Park before finishing a tiring ninth six weeks later in the one-mile Pebbles.

With jockey Angel Cruz aboard the lightly raced daughter of Uncle Mo for the first time, Ultra Brat broke alertly from post 13 and was able to race well-placed, stalking the early pace of Gypsy Eyes. Ultra Brat engaged the leader midway on the final turn, took control entering the stretch, then withstood a long drive to prove clearly best.

Shaan finished strongly from between horses to overtake Try Your Luck in the final strides for second. The latter moved within easy striking distance of the lead once settling into the stretch, but could not kick on with the winner at the end.  

Ultra Brat, a homebred owned by Alex G. Campbell Jr., covered 7 1/2 furlongs over the firm course in 1:41.23 and paid $75.40.

“She comes from shorter-distance races, and Graham told me she’d have speed, just break her on her own, sit comfortable, and she settled for me and won,” said Cruz, who is based regularly in Maryland but is spending the winter riding at Tampa Bay Downs.

Via Borghese Stakes

Trainer Christophe Clement held the upper hand in the $75,000 Via Borghese Stakes, sending out the 21-1 Paige and her uncoupled stable mate Desiree Clary to a one-two finish in the 1 3/16-miles stakes for older fillies and mares. His third entrant in the race, Trophee, finished seventh after getting shuffled to next to last at the top of the stretch.

Paige had to alter course briefly, angling to the rail near mid-stretch under jockey Paco Lopez before finishing strongly to register a half-length decision over Desiree Clary. The latter finished a head in front of the late-running Flipcup.

Happyness raced well-placed, but weakened through the stretch, finishing ninth as the 9-5 favorite.

Paige ran the distance in 1:54.23 and returned $44.80.