Sabrina's Dance Back on Top in Madcap Escapade
By Ed Gray
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Frank Calabrese’s Sabrina’s Dance avenged a recent allowance loss to Alydarla and became a stakes winner in the process Sunday at Gulfstream Park, capturing the $60,000 Madcap Escapade under jockey Jose Lezcano.
The 3-year-old daughter of Werblin, who lost to Alydarla by a neck last month, held off that rival Sunday by 1 ¼ lengths after again setting the pace in the five-furlong turf stakes.
Sabrina’s Dance ($8.20) broke well from her inside post position to contest the pace with Red Hot Doll along the backstretch and into the far turn. After shaking free of Red Hot Doll, she quickly opened a clear lead that she would not relinquish through the stretch run. Alydarla, who raced off the pace under Kent Desormeaux, saved ground on the turn into the homestretch to enter contention but the 2-1 favorite proved no match for the winner.
“The plan was go to the front and we were able to go a little slower than last time when the other horse [Alydarla] beat us,” Lezcano said. “We were able to get clear on the lead after a while and she relaxed really nicely. When I asked her she kicked away.”
Sabrina’s Dance ran five furlongs in 58.19 seconds while posting her third victory in five career starts. Alydarla, who closed from far back to catch Sabrina’s Dance in their previous meeting, had to settle for second Sunday, a half-length ahead of third-place finisher My Due Process.
The Florida-bred filly defeated maiden claimers by more than five lengths in her debut last May over Calder’s main track. Calabrese purchased her shortly after the impressive debut and sent her to trainer Nick Canani. She returned to action at Calder in November with a two-length victory in a turf allowance. After a seventh-place finish in the Old Hat (G3) on Gulfstream’s main track on Jan. 1, Sabrina’s Dance was put back on turf on Jan. 19, when Alydarla caught her late.
“She obviously likes turf, but we tried her in the Old Hat just to see what our options are with her,” Canani said. “I think we’ll stick to turf with her from now on.”