The only graded stakes winner in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies, Farnsworth Stables’ Gozzip Girl has the edge in the $150,000 Sands Point (gr. IIT) May 30 on the turf at Belmont Park.
A daughter of Dynaformer—Temperence Gift, by Kingmambo, Gozzip Girl scored the Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a half-length at Gulfstream Park March 15 during her successful winter campaign in Florida. The dark bay filly also won the Coconut Grove over the same turf course a month earlier.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Gozzip Girl showed she is still in fine form in her most recent start, missing by only a neck to Hooh Why in the April 4 Ashland (gr. I) on the Keeneland Polytrack under Miguel Mena. One of the horses that she defeated in that race was last year’s juvenile champion Stardom Bound.
“She ran really well in the Ashland,” Albertrani said. “It was a last-minute decision to run her there. She had only raced once on dirt and had spent the rest of the time on turf. But we felt that with the way she handled turf, maybe the Dynaformer would come out on the PolyTrack. She made a great run and was unlucky to get beat a neck. If anything cost us the race, it was probably that the winner (Hooh Why) was able to cut the turn, while we had to come wide.
“So, we brought her back here. She’s had a little rest, and now our short-range plan is to run in the Sands Point, and then the American Oaks (gr. IT, Hollywood Park) July 5.
Kent Desormeaux, who was in the irons for the Coconut Grove victory, will get the call once again in the 1 1/8-mile Sands Point. Gozzip Girl will carry top weight 121 pounds and concede four pounds to her rivals.
Gozzip Girl was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and was a $60,000 Keeneland September 2007 yearling purchase. She is 3-1-0 from six starts with earnings of $272,194.
One of the fillies Gozzip Girl will face is a familiar rival, Sam Kassin and Eli Gindi’s Fast Tigress
. The foes will meet for the fourth time in the Sands Point, with Gozzip Girl coming out on top in the Coconut Grove and the Herecomesthebride. However, back on Jan. 15 in a 1 1/16-mile allowance test at Gulfstream, Fast Tigress beat her rival by 2 1/2 lengths.
Trained by John Kimmel, Fast Tigress is 2-0-2 from nine starts. She has just one win from four starts in 2009, but finished a solid third in the April 16 Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland grass.
“The difficulty she had in Florida was that she didn’t take to shipping down from Payson Park to Gulfstream,” Kimmel said. “She’s a little nervous anyway, but she really doesn’t like to ship. At Keeneland, we had a chance to get her settled there first, bring her to the paddock, and school her. She ran a gangbuster race at Keeneland. She was hung wide and she closed very strong.”
Top rider Garrett Gomez will have the mount on Fast Tigress for the first time.
Also coming out of the Herecomesthebride is Dell Ridge Farm's Bluegrass Princess, who was third in that contest, but just 2 1/4 lengths from the front. Since then, Bluegrass Princess was very impressive in winning an April 11 allowance contest by more than three lengths on the Keeneland Polytrack. John Velazquez will ride for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
One filly who looks to be on the improve is Chiefswood Stable’s Magical Affair
, who has hit the board in all five of her starts and was a solid runner-up in the May 1 Edgewood at Churchill Downs in her stakes debut. The Giant's Causeway
filly is trained by Michael Matz and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
Another contender to consider is Strait Gate Stable’s Sapphire Sky
. The David Donk trainee enters off a convincing 4 3/4-length romp in the New York state restricted Bouwerie Stakes at Belmont May 3. The daughter of Sky Mesa
is 3-2-1 from eight starts.
$150,000 Sands Point (gr. IIT, Race 9, 5:17 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Bluegrass Princess (KY), J R Velazquez, 117, K P McLaughlin
2. Hopeful Image (KY), C H Velasquez, 117, G Procino
3. Warm Shower (KY), R Maragh, 117, A J Penna, Jr.
4. Gozzip Girl (KY), K J Desormeaux, 121, T Albertrani
5. Fast Tigress (KY), G K Gomez, 117, J C Kimmel
6. Sapphire Sky (NY), R A Dominguez, 117, D G Donk
7. Magical Affair (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, M R Matz