Personal Pursuit Chases Better Luck in Wait a While
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Tracy Farmer’s Personal Pursuit will enter Saturday’s $75,000 Wait a While at Gulfstream Park in pursuit of better racing luck than the daughter of Tapit encountered in her most recent stakes start.
The Wait a While, a 7 ½-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies, and the $75,000 Pulpit, a 7 ½-furlong race for 2-year-olds, will be the first stakes to be contested over Gulfstream’s new turf course while co-headlining Saturday’s 10-race program
Coming off a maiden score in an off-the-turf race at Aqueduct, Personal Pursuit never had a chance from the start of the Oct. 8 Matron (G3), in which she was bumped hard leaving the gate and had to be taken up in traffic. The daughter of Tapit recovered to close from 11th and last to finish fifth in the six-furlong turf stakes.
“Honestly, I thought more of her after that race than ever before,” Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse said. “I was more impressed by the performance than anything. She had all kinds of trouble and she was still running by horses. Personally, I thought she was the best horse in the race.”
Personal Pursuit, who finished fifth at five furlongs on dirt in her July 1 debut at Churchill Downs, returned 2 ½ months later to graduate over a sloppy Aqueduct track Sept. 22.
“I took her to Saratoga with me. I don’t take too many 2-year-olds with me to Saratoga. I was really excited about running her and she got a tooth abscess,” Casse said. “It took us about a month to get over that. When I ran her in New York she was very impressive.”
Personal Pursuit, who was purchased for $500,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September sale, will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, which whom her trainer has enjoyed a few milestones.
“He’s won a few races for us. He’s done all right,” Casse said. “He won his first Grade 1 (Salty, 2018 La Troienne), our first Classic winner together (War of Will, 2019 Preakness Stakes) and he just had his first Breeders’ Cup winner (Wonder Wheel, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies) with us.”
Personal Pursuit has had three breezes on turf at Palm Meadows in preparation for the Wait a While.
“She been training really well,” Casse said. “The only question – and her pedigree says it shouldn’t be an issue – is that she is going to run farther than she’s ever run and she’s never run.”
Personal Pursuit will face 11 rivals, including Augustin Stable’s Delight, the winner of the Oct. 7 Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland prior to a disappointing 10th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
“She came out of the race well. She’s gotten over the Palm Meadows turf course really well, hopefully it translates to the turf course at Gulfstream Park, which has played really well,” Thomas said. “Win or lose, the plan is to give her 30 to 40 days off out of this. We just thought it was a good way to cap off the year and give the filly one more shot.”
Thomas will also saddle Augustin Stable’s Born Dapper, who captured the off-the-turf Selima over a sloppy main track at Laurel last time out.
Luis Saez has the mount on Delight, while Paco Lopez has the call on Born Dapper.
St. Elias Stable’s Junipermarshmallow is entered to make her stakes debut in the Wait a While off an impressive debut victory at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Keeneland Oct. 16.
“We hadn’t trained her on turf hardly at all, although we knew that her pedigree certainly suggests that she was well meant for it,” said Pletcher, who trained Wait a While, a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner and 2006 Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old filly. “I thought it was a really good effort. I thought she was traveling really well throughout the race and was always in good position. When she got in the clear, she came with a nice kick.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on the daughter of Quality Road.
Bel Pensiero, Lady Azteca, Isabel Alexandra, Stephanie’s Charm, Vai Bell, Malleymoo and Heaven’s Express round out the field.