Naples Bay Wins Marshua's River On Way To Champion Frankel
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Naples Bay began her career with a win over the Gulfstream grass and signed off the same way, rallying between rivals to defeat a competitive group in the $100,000 Marshua’s River Stakes (G3).
The 6-year-old mare hadn’t had her picture taken since the 2012 running of the Noble Damsel Stakes, and she was sent off at 8-1. Jockey Joe Bravo settled her in sixth as the swift Silverette dashed to the front. Turning for home, Bravo asked for a bit more and Naples Bay responded gamely, knifing between rivals to maintain her perfect record of 3-for-3 at Gulfstream.
In five outings last year, Naples Bay hit the board just once when second in the Matchmaker Stakes (G3) at Monmouth on July 28. She came into her career finale off a seventh in the My Charmer Handicap (G3) at Calder. It was an ominous day in Hallandale Beach, but the forecasted rain hadn’t yet materialized by the time the gates were sprung, much to the delight of trainer Christophe Clement.
“She’s a very nice filly, but unfortunately she’s much better on firm turf and the past year we kept meeting softer grass,” Clement explained. “She had one good race in New Jersey on firmer turf. Today, I was just hoping that the rain would hold off. It was a little bit of a luck situation, but it worked out. She had a great trip and Joe gave her a great ride. She goes off to stud now and Mr. Cox is sending her to Frankel, so we wish her the best of luck in her new career.”
Bravo echoed Clement’s sentiments about Naples Bay’s ground preference.
“You know how women are; you’ve got to keep them happy,” Bravo quipped. “She just doesn’t really like a soft turf, and her bad races on paper have been when she runs on a soft turf. Christophe really loved her last start. She was feeling great, but you know how fillies are; when they don’t like something they’re not going to do it. Today she loved the surface, and you see what she did.”
Naples Bay is a half-sister to multi-millionaire and successful sire Medaglia d’Oro, and was purchased as a weanling for $350,000 by Edward A. Cox Jr., a resident of Naples, Florida. She will be bred this spring to unbeaten champion Frankel, who stands at Banstead Manor Stud in Britain.
“Christophe has done a wonderful job with her and we’re thankful for that,” Cox said. “She’s a half-sister to Medaglia d’Oro and we think he’s one of the great sires. She goes into quarantine on Monday morning and then it’s 30 days before she goes to Newmarket.”