Sweet Fervor Nabs 'Limit in Shirley Jones

Sweet Fervor Nabs 'Limit in Shirley Jones
Photo: Equi-Photo, Bill Denver
Sweet Fervor wins the Shirley Jones, Saturday at Gulfstream.
Kinsman Stable’s 4-year-old homebred filly Sweet Fervor rallied from off a fast early pace in the $200,000 Shirley Jones Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park to score a one-length victory over 8-5 favorite Any Limit.

Under Fernando Jara for trainer Bill Mott, Sweet Fervor earned her first graded stakes victory at odds of 8-1. Unhurried for a half-mile, she angled out for the stretch run and got up in the final strides for her fourth win in six lifetime starts. She earned $120,000, boosting her bankroll to $209,700.

Any Limit, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was in a duel for the lead from the start of the seven-furlong test, contesting 78-1 shot Amazing Speed in a fast :22 2/5 and :45 1/5 half-mile clip. She held on well to finish second in the field of seven fillies and mares as the winner finished in 1:22 3/5.

Sweet Fervor was assigned 114 pounds, four less than Any Limit.

Sweet Fervor is a daughter of Seeking the Gold--Undeniably (In Reality) who won her career debut at Belmont as a 2-year-old. In her second start, she captured the Gasparilla by seven lengths at Tampa Bay Downs in January 2006. After fifth-place finishes in the Forward Gal (gr. II) and Fantasy (gr. II) in April, Mott shut her down for the year. She returned to action with a Gulfstream allowance win at 6 1/2 furlongs Jan. 28 in her most recent start. 

“She showed ability from the beginning and winning that little stake at Tampa Bay in her second start last year, but just didn’t go on in her training," Mott explained. "After the Fantasy, she just wasn’t traveling well and we decided to stop on her. She didn’t have any serious problems or need surgery. She just needed time.

"This was a big race for her today, but I’m not sure how far she wants to go. We’ll probably keep her in one-turn races up to maybe a mile for now, although that doesn’t mean she might not stretch out later."

My Lucky Free, with Joe Bravo aboard, finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Any Limit. Second choice Leah's Secret finished fourth, followed by Amazing Speed, Getcozywithkaylee, Stormy Kiss, and Stolen Prayer.

Sweet Fervor paid $18.60, $6, and $4.60, topping a $51.60 exacta with Any Limit ($3.20, $3), who was bidding for her third consecutive graded stakes win at the Gulfstream meet for trainer Allen Jerkens. My Lucky Free was $4 to show in her second graded stakes placing of the year for conditioner Cam Gambolati.

Sugar Swirl scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)

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