HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Steven Friedfertig and NTS Stable’s Miss Margaret is slated to take on nine older fillies and mares in Friday’s $60,000 Amelia Island Handicap at Gulfstream Park.
The daughter of Bwana Charlie is, in fact, the only 3-year-old scheduled to run in the 1 1/16-mile turf feature for fillies and mares, 3 & up.
“It’s a little early in the year, but I think she fits in there. It would be a nice race to win,” trainer Milt Wolfson said. “She’s a big filly – a big, tall filly. I bet it’ll be another year and a half before she’s going to grow into what she’s going to be.”
Miss Margaret may be the youngest filly in the Amelia Island, but she is one of the most consistent competitors, entering the race with nine-straight on-the-board finishes, including one first-place finish and six second-place finishes (one upgraded to a victory by a disqualification).
“She likes what she does. She’s game,” Wolfson said. “She likes to run at a horse, but she’s a horse that likes to wait for horses. That’s what cost her a couple times. If you make the lead too early with her, she’ll start waiting on horses to come to her. When they get the momentum, it’s hard to get her back to full stride. The race is over.”
Wolfson recalled having a conversation with defending two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano about Miss Margaret’s tendencies prior to a race on Jan. 9.
“Javier’s probably the best turf rider in the country, and I told him about her. She got the lead and, sure enough, she got nailed right at the wire. I rode him back, and I told him, ‘Don’t forget,’” Wolfson said. “He timed it perfectly and she won.”
Miss Margaret debuted with an off-the-board finish on dirt before embarking on her turf career, in which she’s been out of the money just once in 11 starts. She finished second by a neck in the Honey Ryder Stakes last time out on May 2.
“When I put her on turf, that’s what she wanted,” said Wolfson, whose sophomore filly is rated fourth in the morning line at 6-1. “I discussed it before the sale with the breeder (Helen Marie Napolitano), and she felt she’d like turf the way she moved when she was training her.”
Miss Margaret, who is slated to be ridden by Eddie Castro for the first time, has been assigned to carry 115 pounds, six fewer than Miller Racing’s E B Ryder and four fewer than Elm Racing’s Street of Gold.
The Marty Wolfson-trained E B Ryder, a stakes winner over the Gulfstream turf course, closed well to finish second behind graded-stakes winner Baffle Me in the Powder Break on April 25. The 5-year-old daughter of Bluegrass Cat is rated second in the morning line at 3-1.
The Eric Reed-trained Street of Gold, the 2-1 morning-line favorite who is based at Keeneland, is a graded-stakes placed filly who was beaten by less than five lengths in a ninth-place finish in the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland on April 24.
Will to Shine (118), Devious Maddy (116), Weekend Appeal (116), She Drives Me Wild (115), Almost an Angel (115), Creative License (114) and Sweet Morgan (113) round out the field.
Carryovers Thursday On Rainbow 6 and Super Hi 5
Live racing resumes Thursday at Gulfstream will a Super Hi 5 carryover of $5,271.38 and a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover of $21,430.04. First race post time is 1 p.m.