Madame Giry Takes Umphrey Turf Sprint
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Marty Wolfson had entered Heart Stealer in the $75,000 Housebuster, as well the $75,000 Paseana, on Saturday’s five-stakes program at Gulfstream Park. Although the veteran trainer had confidence that the 4-year-old filly would have more than held her own against males, he opted to run her against fillies and mares in the Paseana.
“I just needed an easier race for her before I go to Saratoga,” said Wolfson, whose primary goal for Heart Stealer is the $500,000 Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga on Aug.23. “I felt this was the easier race.”
Heart Stealer did, indeed, have an easy time dismissing seven rivals, including three stablemates, in the 6 ½-furlong Paseana. Unraced since capturing the Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 22, the daughter of Speightstown stalked the pace between horses along the backstretch and around the far turn before swinging three-wide on the turn into the homestretch. Under only mild encouragement from jockey Edgard Zayas, the 1-2 favorite kicked on to a 2 ¼-length victory.
“He really only let her run the last eighth of a mile,” said Wolfson, who trains the Kentucky-bred filly for Peachtree Stable.
The Wolfson-trained Kipling’s Joy closed to finish second under jockey Ramsey Zimmerman, a half-length ahead of Salamera. Wolfson’s other trainees Quiet Hour and Centrique finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
Heart Stealer, who ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.61, had been sidelined for a month with a foot abscess that knocked her out of the Humana Distaff (G1) on the Kentucky Derby Day program.
“She’s been training beautifully,” Wolfson said.
One race earlier in the day, multiple-stakes winner Madame Giry captured the first of five $75,000 stakes on the program with a thoroughly dominant victory in the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint. The only female in a field of 11, the Cam Gambolati-trained 5-year-old mare saved ground during the early going of the five-furlong turf sprint before unleashing a strong stretch drive that powered her to a 2 ½-length victory. Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado was aboard for the 2-1 favorite’s eighth career victory.
“Now she gets to go to Saratoga,” said Gambolati, whose trainee captured the Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga last summer.
Madame Giry, who wore blinkers for the first time while running five furlongs in 55.80 seconds, was accompanied to the Gulfstream winner’s circle with owner Rick Pitino, head basketball coach for University of Louisville.