Go Astray Stays on Course to win Desert Vixen
Aug 5, 2017
Upsets Favored Awesome Mass in first leg of Florida Sire Stakes
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Ramiro Medina’s Go Astray stayed on the straight and narrow Saturday at Gulfstream Park, going right to the front at the start of the $100,000 Desert Vixen Division of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes and continuing on to post a dominating 4 ¾-length triumph over heavily favored Awesome Mass.
“I was hoping for a good race. This filly has been training super. For the day I got her, I knew she was going to be a nice horse,” trainer Angel Rodriguez said.
Ridden by Jose Batista, Go Astray ($23.60) outsprinted Valid Interest to take the lead on the backstretch and set fractions of 22.22 seconds, 44.93 and 57.31 for the first five furlongs of the six-furlong event for 2-year-old fillies sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida. Awesome Mass, the 3-5 favorite who got away from the gate a step slowly, took up the chase to the outside of Go Astray on the turn but was unable to sustain her drive under Emisael Jaramillo. Go Astray pulled away for a comfortable triumph as Awesome Mass held off Pantyhose by a nose.
“I was definitely planning to go to the front,” Batista said. “I expected her to win by that much.”
Go Astray ran six furlongs in 1:11.08 to win her second race in six starts. The daughter of Gone Astray finished fourth in the Brave Raj Stakes in her most recent start after scoring a maiden win by 4 ¾ lengths. Prior to graduating, the Florida-bred filly finished second to Todd Pletcher-trained Stainless.
“I was pretty confident because last time she ran against open company and ran fourth, beaten by only one length. When she ran second she got beat by a horse trained by Todd Pletcher, so she’s run against some nice horses,” Rodriguez said.
The Florida Sire Stakes series continues on Sept. 2 with the $200,000 Susan’s Girl Division for fillies and the $200,000 Affirmed Division, both to be run at seven furlongs. The lucrative series will conclude with the $400,000 My Dear Girl Division for fillies and the $400,000 In Reality Division, both set for 1 1/16-miles.
“I really think she’ll be good at seven furlongs,” Rodriguez said. “ think we’re going to have to train her to get the [two-turn] distance.