Kaplan-Trained Juvenile Filly Takes ‘Command’ in Impressive Debut
Walder Saddles Three Winners; Leyva, Zayas Each Win Twice
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Guaranteed at $200,000
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Naval Command made up many lengths after a slow start to graduate impressively in Saturday’s sixth race at Gulfstream Park.
The thoroughly professional performance under less than ideal circumstances came in the 2-year-old filly’s first lifetime start.
“She is a special filly,” said trainer Bill Kaplan on his way to the winner’s circle. “You know I don’t say that too often.”
Kaplan, who campaigned 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner and Eclipse Award champion Musical Romance, trains the Florida-bred daughter of Midshipman for Pinnacle Racing Stables, H. Jack Hendricks and Roger Justice.
Naval Command ($5.80) was slow to get underway but steadily advanced under jockey Juan Leyva along the backstretch and far turn. Turning for home, the 9-5 favorite was angled to the outside and she responded to run down Tierra Dorada by a length. She ran 4 ½ furlongs over a sloppy track in 52.38 seconds.
“Coming out of the gate she got crowded and it spooked her a little bit. She kind of backed out but once I asked her she got right back into it,” said Leyva, who was Musical Romance’s regular rider. “I loved the way she ran. We thought she’d be on the front end.”
Naval Command was bought in April for $60,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale’s 2-year-olds-in-training sale.
“I loved the way she moved on the track during her breeze,” said Kaplan, who expects his filly to run next in a Gulfstream stakes.
Who’s Hot: Trainer Peter Walder saddled three winners, including Four Aria ($4.60) in the eighth and the winners of both ends of the early daily double, Superiority ($10.20) in the first and Dreamlicious ($3) in the second.
In addition to his win aboard Naval Command, Juan Leyva was victorious on Four Aria.
Jockey Edgard Zayas added to his meet-leading total with victories aboard Becky’s Kitten ($6) in the third and Carlito’s Dream ($3.60) in the seventh.
Seven-pound apprentice jockey Michael Ritvo rode his seventh winner in the last seven racing days, guiding Lucasta ($3) to victory in the fourth race.
Rainbow Six Carryover: $200,000.