Set for Battle with R Free Roll Saturday at Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Heart Stealer’s runaway victory at Gulfstream Park two starts back was a visual treat for the 4-5 favorite’s backers, whose early concern over a slow start were swept away by a dazzling display of speed that resulted in an open-lengths romp.
The 10 ½-length victory only became more impressive when the second- and third-place finishers came back to find the winner’s circle in subsequent starts. Sweet N Discreet followed up a runner-up finish behind Heart Stealer to win her next two starts, while third-place finisher Wild Eyed Wonder went on to win her next out.
Heart Stealer, who is scheduled to make her graded-stakes debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) at Gulfstream, didn’t surprise trainer Marty Wolfson with her romp in the 6 ½-furlong allowance.
“I didn’t expect her to break so slow, but I expected her to run big,” Wolfson said. “But she broke so slow.
The 3-year-old daughter of Speightstown broke first in her subsequent outing, but she was unable to get to the winner’s circle. Out-gunned for the early lead, Heart Stealer chased R Free Roll throughout the six-furlong minor stakes at Calder, finishing second by a length to the Ralph Ziadie-trained filly.
“She’s so green and inexperienced running against that filly. She’s a little better now than she was then,” said Wolfson, who had taken over the training of the Peachtree Stable’s filly prior to her Gulfstream romp. “And the first time at Calder, to run 1:10 flat, that’s not bad.”
Javier Castellano is set to ride Heart Stealer for the first time in the Sugar Swirl, in which she is rated second in the morning line at 3-1 for a rematch with 2-1 favorite R. Free Roll in the speed-filled six-horse field. Crazy About Me and Classic Point, both rated at 4-1 in the morning line, also possess high turns of early speed.
The Jorge Navarro-trained Crazy About Me was claimed for $15,000 out of a winning performance at Churchill Downs in May and won four straight before finishing third in the $100,000 Safely Kept at Laurel. Stretching out to seven furlongs, the 3-year-old daughter of Lawyer Ron flashed her usual early speed before faltering late.
“They ran two seconds faster than the boys (in the City of Laurel) that day,” said Navarro of his filly’s half-mile in 45 1/5 seconds. “The track was also deeper than the Monmouth track she was running on.”
Crazy About Me, who’ll be ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, may be at a disadvantage if she doesn’t break cleanly from the rail post position.
Classic Point, trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, has set the pace in two high-profile graded stakes at Saratoga last summer. The 4-year-old daughter of Flatter just missed holding on in the six-furlong Honorable Miss (G2) while beaten by a neck by Dance to Bristol. She also set the pace in the seven-furlong Test (G1), in which she finished two lengths behind Dance to Bristol.
Classic Point, who is scheduled to be ridden by Alex Solis, has drawn the outside post position, which could prove to be an advantage in a race with a lot of speed.
“I don’t think she needs the lead. She ran a real good race one day when she lay right in behind everybody and came through on the rail and won,” said Jerkens of an optional claiming allowance victory at Belmont last summer.
Munnings Sister (Luis Saez; 6-1) and Twice Told Tale (Corey Lanerie, 8-1) have both shown the ability to race off the pace and could benefit from an early speed jam up front.
GULFSTREAM PARK is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets.The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at email@example.com or call 954.457.6451.