02/19/2015 12:10PM

Wedding Toast formidable favorite in Rampart

Barbara D. Livingston
Wedding Toast is 5 for 5 when she has been favored, as she will be again in Saturday's Rampart.

Wedding Toast relishes the role of favorite. She has been favored in five of her seven starts, and wouldn’t you know it? – all five of her victories have come as the public choice.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin would like nothing more than for that perfect record to remain intact when Wedding Toast makes her second start after a layoff as the obvious one to beat in the Grade 3, $100,000 Rampart, the first of eight Saturday stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Wedding Toast, a 5-year-old mare by Street Sense, won the ungraded Miami Shores Stakes on Jan. 7 at Gulfstream in her first start in nine months.

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“She was just not doing well and was a little sore and needed a little time off,” McLaughlin said this week. “No surgery – we just gave her the time off. She came back fabulous, and she’s doing great.”

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With Jose Lezcano back to ride, Wedding Toast will break from post 2 in a field of seven fillies and mares in the one-mile Rampart, which is carded as the fourth of 12 races. Tactically versatile with a high turn of speed, Wedding Toast won her only prior attempt in graded company, the Grade 3 Comely in November 2013.

Among the chief competition is House Rules, a graded stakes-placed filly with a solid record over the Gulfstream surface; Thank You Marylou, third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint two starts back; and Got Lucky, a Todd Pletcher-trained filly who also won earlier in the meet following a layoff.

Rampart Stakes, race 4


Wedding Toast (Last 3 Beyers: 95-94-98)

◗ She served notice as a potential star when earning a 105 Beyer in her third career start in September 2013, but the subsequent layoff lines speak to an apparent fragile nature. There’s little doubt, however, that if she’s ready to run her race again, she will prove formidable in here.

◗ Shows four works at Palm Meadows since the Miami Shores and appears to be coming into this in perfect order.

House Rules (Last 3 Beyers: 91-64-93)

◗ Filly who was second in back-to-back Grade 2 races last winter at Gulfstream has had trouble crashing through the graded ceiling, but her dominance in winning three of her last five starts suggests she’s ready and willing. From six starts locally, she has two wins and three seconds.

◗ She retains the perpetually hot Javier Castellano, who is in line for another big Saturday with a host of live mounts.

Thank You Marylou (Last 3 Beyers: 82-87-87)

◗ Run-off triumph when adding blinkers last fall at Churchill Downs remains her gold standard, although later efforts in both the Breeders’ Cup and the Grade 1 La Brea at Santa Anita were creditable.

◗ Shows four works split between Palm Meadows and Gulfstream since returning to Florida for trainer Mike Maker, all of them serviceable toward this.

Got Lucky (Last 3 Beyers: 88-81-78)

◗ A.P. Indy filly sandwiched allowance victories around fifth-place finishes in very demanding Grade 1 races and must prove she’s capable at this relatively short distance when rematched against graded foes.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 6 Got Lucky. Trainer Todd Pletcher is 12-7-0-2 with a $2.95 ROI over the past five years with last-out winners in dirt route graded stakes at Gulfstream Park in the second start following a layoff. Click for more details. Dan Illman

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