Code Warrior Pays Dividends in $75,000 Abundantia Stakes
Jan 1, 2018
Graded-Stakes Winner Wins 1st Start for New Connections
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Robert Marzilli received a quick return on his investment at Gulfstream Park Monday when Code Warrior won her first start for her new owner in the $75,000 Abundantia Stakes.
Purchased for $190,000 at the Keeneland November sale, the graded-stakes winning daughter of Society’s Chairman received a ground-saving trip under Tyler Gaffalione before kicking in through the stretch to score by 1 ¼ lengths in the five-furlong turf stakes for older fillies and mares.
“We’d been following this filly for a long time. We had a real good filly in Canada called Caren by this sire. When she came up for auction we bought her,” said trainer Michael De Paulo, who campaigned the Marzilli-owned Caren during her Canadian Horse of the Year season in 2016. “I haven’t had her that long. We bought her, sent her to Ocala. Paul Sharp had her for a bit and sent her to me here, and here we are.”
Code Warrior ($18.60), who captured the six-furlong Hendrie (G3) over Woodbine’s synthetic surface, notched her first victory in only her second start on turf, The Florida-bred 5-year-old mare had demonstrated a fondness for synthetic surfaces on the West Coast and Canada for her former connections, winning four of 11 starts and finishing in the money nine times.
“They weren’t sure she really liked grass, because she only ran on it once and finished fourth. But that race is the best sprint they have up there on turf – the [G3] Royal North,” De Paulo said.
Code Warrior ran five furlongs on a firm course in 55.82 seconds.
“The filly broke sharp. Mike told me to just be patient with her. We had a perfect position going into the turn, sat right behind the speed, and coming into the stretch a spot opened up. Once I put her in there, she really accelerated. I wasn’t too worried,” Gaffalione said. “I had a lot of horse around the turn and I just had to wait for my spot.”
Pacesetter Girls Know Best finished second under Javier Castellano. Brandy’s Girl, the 4-5 favorite who defeated colts and geldings in a stakes two starts back, finished a non-threatening third, another 1 ½ lengths farther back, under Jose Ortiz.