Jerkens Wins Again as Any Limit Takes 'Bertie

Trainer Allen Jerkens scored a graded stakes double at Gulfstream Park when Joseph V. Shields Jr.’s homebred filly Any Limit was a prompt winner of Saturday’s $108,500 Hurricane Bertie Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares as the 17-10 favorite.

The 4-year-old Any Limit prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths over My Lucky Free. Jerkens won the Sabin Handicap (gr. III) earlier on the card with Swap Fliparoo.
The bay daughter of Limit Out, with Rafael Bejarano aboard in the 6 1/2-furlong test, was the favorite in the field of 10 after capturing the First Lady Handicap (gr. III) under Bejarano over the track going six furlongs on Jan. 20. The winning time was 1:17 on a fast track.

“The last time she broke slow," Bejarano noted. "This time she broke good. I know this horse pretty well, I felt confident."

Any Limit, showing speed after getting to the inside, soon challenged for the lead soon as the speedy Contrast led the opening quarter mile in :22 1/5. Any Limit took over after that and repulsed a bid from My Lucky Free and Joe Bravo in upper stretch after completing a half-mile in :45 2/5. She was under a full drive to hold My Lucky Free off. Stolen Prayer rallied for third under Kent Desormeaux, 6 1/4 lengths behind My Luck Free.

Jerkens said he was confident in both of his winning fillies Saturday, but was concerned about the weather conditions coming into the program.

"It was a little ticklish mid-week, not knowing what to do with them in the mud. If you work them in the mud, and something goes wrong, they’ll ask you what were you doing sending them out there in the mud. But if you don’t work them, they’ll get tired.

"Today she showed more speed than I thought she would, but she broke so well, Rafael just let her stay out there.”

Any Limit, who won for sixth time in 14 starts with earnings of $264,774, paid $5.40, $3.40 and $3.20. My Lucky Free, in her first action since running sixth in the Raven Run (gr. II) at Keeneland in October, returned $5 and $4.60. Stolen Prayer, turning in his third successive show finish, was $9.20 to show.

Coli Bear finished fourth, followed by Stormy Kiss, Flying Circle, Actslikealady, A Sea Trippi, Atlas Valley and Contrast.

(Chart, Equibase)

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