Jockey Joe Bravo made it clean sweep of the Gulfstream Park stakes Jan. 9, as he guided 26-1 longshot Justaroundmidnight to victory in the $100,000 Marshua’s River (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) one race after scoring the Ft. Lauderdale (gr. IIIT) in dramatic fashion.
Irish-bred Justaroundmidnight passed 36-1 Persuading
in the final strides to win by a half-length for her first stakes triumph. The 4-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer
was making her first start since June and only her third start in the United States.
She broke her maiden in her U.S. debut at Monmouth Park last summer and was sixth in the Boiling Springs (gr. IIIT) two weeks later.
The dark bay/brown filly was winless in five starts in Ireland. She is now in the barn of Patrick Biancone, who trains for Mrs. Paul Shanahan.
Bravo won the Ft. Lauderdale aboard 11-1 Little Mike
about 30 minutes before guiding Justaroundmidnight to her upset.
Breaking from the outside, Justaroundmidnight raced in 10th through the early going while saving ground. She moved into contention around the final turn and was fifth when they hit the top of the lane.
Persuading nearly took it wire-to-wire under Jesus Castanon, gliding uncontested through splits of :23.56, :47. 28, and 1:10.74 before opening up a 1 1/2-length lead over Trip for A.J. at the eighth-pole. But Justaroundmidnight, who was angled wide for her entry into the lane, had the entire final furlong to catch the pacesetter, and she finally gained command in the final strides.
The final time for 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf was 1:40.27. Never Retreat
made a strong run from the outside to get third, a neck in front of Cherokee Queen
Justaroundmidnight, who was entered as an also-eligible in an allowance race Jan. 6 at Gulfstream but didn’t draw in, won for the second time in eight starts and has now earned $108,248. She was bred by Lynch Bages Ltd., and is out of the Machiavellian mare Strategy.
“The hardest part was getting her to draw into the race,” Bravo said. “This was a really good filly that broke her maiden at Monmouth Park. In her next race they ran her in a stakes. and she was the best horse. I was stuck on the rail the whole race with no place to go. This is a horse good.”
“She’s a very, very talented filly, but needs to stay covered up, and sometimes they get into trouble with that style, which is what happened the last time she ran,” Biancone said of the Boiling Springs effort. “I think she’ll go up to a mile-and-an-eighth. She has a huge turn of foot. We’ll look at the book and find the right spot for her next.”
The winner paid $54, $24.40, and $12.60. The exacta (13-8) was a generous $1,071.60, and the trifecta (13-8-2) was worth $10,757.50 for $1.
C.S. Silk, the 3-2 favorite, was never seriously involved and finished 10th in a field of 12.