Making her first start in the United States, South African mare Gypsy's Warning caught favored Maram in the final stride to post a 7-1 upset in the $147,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) at Monmouth Park May 31.
Graham Motion, who trains Gypsy's Warning for Team Valor International and Green Lantern Stables, completed a rapid-fire double with the Eatontown victory. A moment earlier, his 3-year-old filly Check the Label won the Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
The 5-year-old Gypsy's Warning was an interesting possibility in the Eatontown even though she had not raced since June 2009. The bay had won five of 11 starts in her native country, including a group I triumph in the South African Fillies Classic at Turffontein 14 months ago.
Sent off at odds of 7-1 in a field reduced to five by the scratches of Akilina and My Princess Jess, My Gypsy's Warning completed the 1 1/16-mile test of older fillies and mares in 1:41.79 over a firm course.
Gypsy's Warning rated in fourth while three paths wide early for jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. as Eye of Taurus went to the front from the rail and maintained a half-length edge over 7-5 choice Maram. Those two were tracked by Omega Cat, pulling hard along the inside as Eye of Tauras, the 9-5 second choice, clicked off soft fractions of :24.89 for the opening quarter mile and 1:12.86 for six furlongs. Eye of Taurus weakened in mid-stretch as Maram took a short lead past the eighth pole.
A game Maram, ridden by Jose Lezcano, dug in as Gypsy's Warning, responding to urging from Valdivia, closed in from third. It appeared Maram might hold off her challenger in a desperate finish, but Gypsy's Warning got a nose in front right at the wire. The closer Scolara, the 118-pound top weight, ran on for third, finishing 1 3/4 lengths back with Eddie Castro aboard. Omega Cat and Eye of Taurus trailed.
“She was already proven in South Africa, but you still never know what to expect first time in the U.S.,” said Valdivia. “I was very pleased that she went by Maram because she’s a very nice filly. She’s got a big turn of foot. I expect big things in the future for her.”
Bred by Rathmor Stud, Gypsy's Warning is by Mogok out of the South African mare Gypsy Queen, by Royal Chalice. She earned $90,000 for the Eatontown victory and has now banked $230,579 in her career.
Four-year-old Maram, the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner, was making her first start for trainer Chad Brown since a sixth-place showing in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita.
The longest shot on the board, Gypsy's Warning carried 117 pounds, one more than Maram, and paid $16.40, $6.60, and $3.60. Maram returned $3.20 and $2.10 and completed the $44.40 exacta. Scolara, second in the Beaugay Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park May 1, was $3 to show.