Ozara Takes Inside Route to $125,000 Ginger Brew Win
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Cheyenne Stable homebred Ozara, given a patient ride by jockey Tyler Gaffalione, scooted through an opening along the rail in mid-stretch and sprinted clear to a 2 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s $125,000 Ginger Brew at Gulfstream Park.
The one-mile Ginger Brew for newly turned 3-year-old fillies on turf was the first of three stakes worth $325,000 in purses on an 11-race program, followed by the $100,000 Limehouse sprinting six furlongs and $125,000 Dania Beach on the grass, both for 3-year-olds.
It was the third win from five career starts and second straight victory over Gulfstream’s new turf course for Christophe Clement-trained Ozara ($8), who capped her juvenile season with a closing neck triumph in the 7 ½-furlong Wait a While Dec. 9.
San Pantaleo, a last-out maiden winner Nov. 5 on the Aqueduct turf, broke sharply and outran his rivals to the front, leading through a quarter-mile in 23.36 seconds and a half in 46.96, given closest chase by 18-1 longshot Independenceavenue, coming off an optional claiming victory Nov. 29 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Grade 3-placed Buttercream Babe, fourth in the Wait a While, and Ozara led the next flight as Gaffalione bided his time behind horses. San Pantaleo was still in front once straightened for home but left enough room for Ozara to power through, getting the jump on 9-5 favorite Waskesiu and crossing the wire in 1:33.85 over a firm turf course.
“All the credit goes to Mr. Clement and his team. They brought her over ready to run and she fired big for us today,” Gaffalione said. “It worked out really well. She broke alertly and I was able to tuck in and save some ground. She traveled beautiful in hand and when the spot opened, she quickened right through and finished the job well.”
Grade 2-placed Life’s an Audible, exiting the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), came with a late flourish to edge Waskesiu for second, followed by Madame Mischief, Buttercream Babe, Dancing N Dixie, Time to Dazzle, Independenceavenue, Omaha Girl and San Pantaleo. Yatta, Golden Ghost and Mojave Desert were scratched.
“She was waiting on me the whole way around,” Gaffalione said. “Any slight move, and she was ready to go. When I did let her go, she responded.”
Bred in Ireland, Ozara made her career debut last August at Saratoga, winning a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight by a neck with Gaffalione aboard. From there she ran fourth in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine and second in the Chelsey Flower at Aqueduct before breaking through in the Wait a While.
“I rode her first time out at Saratoga,” Gaffalione said. “We always thought she had a lot of potential and she’s coming into her own now.”