Miss Amalita Opens Juvenile Turf Season With Hard-Fought Victory
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The turf season for 2-year-olds got under way at Gulfstream Park Friday, when Miss Amalita surged late to overtake pacesetter Jersey Life at the finish of the five-furlong maiden special weight race.
Making her third career start, the Terri Pompay-trained filly took to the new footing in her third career start.
“We just thought she would the way she moved,” said Pompay by phone from New Jersey, where her main stable is based at Monmouth Park during the summer. “She’s just a nice filly. She gives it her all every time.”
Ridden by Edgard Zayas, Miss Amalita broke alertly from her far outside post position to stalk Jersey Life, the 4-5 favorite ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, on the backstretch before pulling alongside the pacesetter on the far turn. Zayas held a tight rein leaving the turn into the homestretch as Jersey Life sprinted clear, but the long-striding 6-5 second choice dug in through the stretch run to catch her rival late.
“She always tries to drift out a little. I work her in the morning, so I was aware of that. So I knew she was going to do that. I took a hold of her, but once she gets into the straight, she straightens out. She can run,” Zayas said.
Miss Amalita, who was timed in 57.79 seconds while registering her victory by a neck, won at first asking on turf, but her immediate future may still be on dirt. The daughter of Pomeroy was the only horse in the eight-horse field that is eligible for the upcoming lucrative Florida Stallion Stakes, which will be conducted on the main course.
“I need to speak with the owners, but, turf or dirt, she can run on both. Right now 2-year-olds are just getting out of their maiden condition, so it might be a good time to try to tackle a stake,” said Pompay, whose filly was beaten by just a nose in her previous start on the main track. “The Sire Stakes are a plus. I think we should look into it.”
The Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds gets underway on Aug. 9 with the running of the $100,000 Desert Vixen for fillies and the $100,000 Dr. Fager, both at six furlongs. The second leg on Sept. 6 includes the $250,000 Susan’s Girl for fillies and the $250,000 Affirmed, both at seven furlongs. The $350,000 My Dear Girl for fillies and the $350,000 In Reality, both at 1 1/16 miles, are set for Oct.4.
“I think she’s going to want longer than she’s running right now,” said Pompay of the benefits of Miss Amalita stretching out for the Sire Stakes. “She has a little trouble with the turns right now. She has a little trouble cornering. Going longer will get her to relax more and she won’t have to go so fast –that’ll be good for her.”
Rainbow 6 Carryover: $50,000 (guaranteed)