Cloverleaf Farm II homebred Bsharpsonata, under Eric Camacho, fired the winning move around the final turn in the $100,000 Tropical Park Oaks Jan. 1 at Calder Race Course, and the Pulpit filly began her 3-year-old campaign with a decisive 1 1/2-length victory on the turf.
Bsharpsonata won in stakes competition for the third time. Her last start produced a 1 1/4-length score in the Nov. 24 Selima Stakes on the Laurel Park turf.
Trained by Tim Salzman, Bsharpsonata stopped the clock in 1:40.69 in the 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-olds. Alwajeeha and Absolutely Cindy both rallied from well off the pace to earn place and show, respectively. Calico Bay finished fourth in the field of 12.
Bred in Florida, Bsharpsonata stayed close to the pace early on, rating just in back of leaders Encanto Park and Calico Bay for the first quarter, which went in :24.84. As the field approached the half-mile mark, Bsharpsonata gave a little ground, as Wise Cookie, Wasted Tears, and Creative Design also began to stalk the two frontrunners. Encanto Park carried them through four furlongs in :47.22.
Sitting fifth after a half-mile, Bsharpsonata began her winning three-wide move at the start of the final turn. By midway on the far turn, she had grabbed the lead and had a two-length advantage at the top of the stretch. At mid-stretch, the bay filly had the race put away. Alwajeeha and Absolutely Cindy both made their strong closing moves too late to challenge for the top spot.
“This is such a nice filly to ride because she lets you put her wherever you want to in the race," Camacho said. "Going down the backside, I wanted to rate her in behind horses, but we were getting pushed to the outside, and when she saw that daylight in front of her, she got a bit rank. I got her settled, though, and coming around the last turn I just turned her loose.”
Out of the Affirmed mare Apasionata Sonata, Maryland-based Bsharpsonata won for the fourth time in seven career starts. The Oaks was just her third career start on grass and first in Florida.
“I brought her down here (from Laurel Park) over a week ago to acclimate and work over the course," said John Salzman, Tim's father. "She’s a good filly, and we’re hoping she’ll be as good back on dirt as she is on turf. There really isn’t anything for her on turf at Gulfstream, so we’re going to point her for the seven-eighths-mile race, the Forward Gal (Feb. 9), and then the Davona Dale (Mar. 2).”
Going off as the 5-2 favorite, Bsharpsonata paid $7.40, $4.80, and $3.60. The exacta (9-8) was worth $59.80, while the trifecta (9-8-5) with 10-1 Absolutely Cindy returned $440.40.