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Fawkes Saddles First Two In $100,000 Ta Wee
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Trainer David Fawkes admitted he didn't know who to root for Saturday afternoon during the running of the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The two horses Fawkes saddled in the 1 1/16-mile turf feature, Sola Gratia and Millennia, were both closing down the stretch. "It was fun," said Fawkes with a smile. "At the eighth pole I was thinking, 'Who's going to win?' "
In the end it was Brinker Hill Farm's Millennia who got her picture taken, winning the Ta Wee by a half length over David Dizney's Sola Gratia while covering a firm course in 1:42.59. Miss Addison was third while race favorite Awesome Belle checked in fourth.
Ridden by Jesus Rios, Millennia, a 6-year-old mare by Milwaukee Brew, was allowed to settle behind a :24.35, :48.51 and 1:12.31 pace set by She's Spooky before driving from the outside and past her stablemate in the stretch.
Millennia, purchased by Brinker Hill two years ago as a potential broodmare, has won six of 37 races. The Ta Wee was her first race since finishing ninth in The Girls Inc of Shelbyville June 15 at Indiana Downs. The mare was beat less than two lengths earlier this year at Gulfstream in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf.
"The turf in Indiana was so hard last time she ran she didn't like it," Fawkes said. "It was a real speed bias. She wants something a little softer that will come back to her. This race worked perfectly with the speed. It set up really well. We've had her two years. This is her first stakes, and that's why they (Brinker Hill Farm) bought her out of Keeneland (two years ago) in order to win a stakes with her and put her in their broodmare band. She's always run well here. She ran well in the (Sunshine Millions) and I don't think she was doing as good as she's doing now. We gave her a freshening at the beginning of the summer and she's really running well."
Fawkes said he had no immediate plans for Millennia or SolaGratia, who had won last time out across a good turf course at Gulfstream.