Sister Lou Ann Honors Sarah Ramsey’s Memory in Martha Washington
‘California’ Frolics on Tapeta to Win Not Surprising
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. made an unexpected visit to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle Saturday.
Not that Sister Lou Ann was a surprise winner of the $75,000 Martha Washington, but her trainer had planned on being at Belmont Park to saddle Skippylongstocking for a start in the Belmont Stakes (G1). After experiencing flight delays and eventually a cancellation, Joseph decided to remain in South Florida to carry out his saddling duties at Gulfstream.
The winner’s circle ceremony at Gulfstream turned out to be a memorable and emotional one following the Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred’s front-running victory in the mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf. Sister Lou Ann’s first stakes victory came less than two weeks after Sarah Ramsey’s passing.
“To win for Mr. Ramsey after Mrs. Ramsey passed away, this is for her. This is a special win,” said Joseph, approximately two hours before the Belmont Stakes was scheduled to go to post. “Mr. Ramsey, the one thing he wants to do is to make sure to run as Ken and Sarah Ramsey, he told me. He was adamant about that happening. He wants to make sure to keep the tradition going on.”
Sister Lou Ann, the 2-1 favorite ridden by Leonel Reyes, went right to the front to set the pace before shaking off a mild challenge by Saturday Night Gal on the turn into the homestretch and drawing clear by 1 ¼ lengths. The daughter of Frosted ran the about 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:48.60 over a ‘good’ turf.
Saturday’s victory was the first stakes success for Sister Lou Ann, who was making her first start since finishing a close second in the Wait a While Stakes at Gulfstream Dec. 3.
Saturday Nite Girl held second, a neck in front of Jan’s Girl. The Joseph-trained Miss You Ella finished fourth after a troubled trip.
In the co-featured $75,000 Not Surprising, Julian De Mora Jr.’s California Frolic, who captured the English Channel on turf May 7, came right back to win on Gulfstream’s Tapeta course.
The 3-year-old son of California Chrome, who has won three of four starts since being claimed for $50,000, raced from well off the early pace before making moving to the lead at the top of the stretch and holding off Treasure King by a neck.
California Frolic ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.59 under Edgar Perez. Joseph-trained Treasure King finished second, 5 ¼ lengths ahead of Klugman.