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Pomeroys Pistol Fires Best Shot in Sugar Swirl
By Ed Gray
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Pomeroys Pistol was challenged by seven talented fillies and mares Saturday at Gulfstream Park, but the most daunting test facing the 4-5 favorite in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) was her post position.
Owner, breeder and trainer Amy Tarrant's concern about her 3-year-old filly's rail post position in the six-furlong sprint quickly dissipated with a stellar two-length victory.
Out-sprinted to the lead by Third Chance, Pomeroys Pistol settled behind the pacesetter along the backstretch and on the turn before jockey Javier Castellano swung the daughter of Pomeroy to the outside at the top of the stretch. Once clear the multiple-stakes winner responded with a dominating stretch run on her way to victory.
Pomperoys Pistol's fifth victory in 13 starts came in her first start since a wide fourth-place effort from the No. 12 post position in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs last month.
"My only concern going into the race was the one post. I wasn't worried that she's only had one workout since the Breeders' Cup. I know her and what she needs. I was confident going into the race," Tarrant said. "She had three quality weeks turned out on the farm, but pretty much kept her self fit running around her paddock. I don't like to grind on them before they run. The time frame, five weeks since the Breeders' Cup, was perfect. Javier (Castellano) knows her now and rides her with confidence."
Castellano, who rode Tarrant's filly to a four-length victory in the Gallant Bloom (G2) at Aqueduct prior to the Breeders' Cup, enjoyed a clean trip from the rail post that often proves to be a disadvantage in sprint races.
"I had a beautiful trip, a dream trip. She is a really nice filly, really straightforward. I love her," Castellano said. "You can do whatever you want with her. I saved all the ground I could and when I put her outside, she took off. She was much the best in the field."
Pomeroy's Pistol, who captured the Forward Gal (G2) at Gulfstream on Jan. 30, earned $60,000 after running the six furlongs in 1:09.35. Pica Slew, ridden by Luis Contreras, finished second after contesting the early pace. Strike The Moon and jockey Edgar Prado finished third, a nose behind the runner-up.
The Florida-bred winner figures to be a stakes force during the Gulfstream meeting.
"We'll look at the Hurricane Bertie (Feb. 19) and the Grade 2 after that (Inside Information on Mar. 17)," Tarrant said. "She'll run in one or maybe both."