Joseph Allen's homebred Teammate finished 14 lengths behind Wait a While on a sloppy sealed Gulfstream Park one month ago. But given a fast track Sunday in the $150,000 Bonnie Miss (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies, it was a different story.
Teammate, with regular rider Cornelio Velasquez aboard for trainer Allen Jerkens, earned her first stakes victory. The gray daughter of A.P. Indy
-Starry Dreamer (Rubiano) carved soft fractions in the first six furlongs and simply ran away from her tiring rivals in the stretch to post a mild upset at odds of 5-1. The time was a quick 1:48 1/5 for the 1 1/8-mile event.
Wait a While, the 11-10 favorite in the field of seven after her dominating win in the Davona Dale (gr. II) Feb. 4, had no apparent excuse. She tracked the pacesetter through splits of :23 4/5, :48 and 1:12, then launched her bid for John Velazquez near the quarter pole. But Teammate spurted away when challenged by the favorite to take a commanding three-length lead in upper stretch and cruised home by six lengths.
"At the quarter pole, I had a lot of horse," Velasquez noted. "I never hit her. She won easy today."
The grade II winner Wonder Lady Anne L, nipped by a head for second by Teammate last time in the Davona Dale, rallied late to pick up the place spot by a head over Wait a While.
Teammate raced with the anti-bleeding medication Salix for the first time in a seven-race career. She now has a record of two wins, three seconds, and a third - with earnings of $151,486.
Jerkens said he didn't expect Teammate to be on the lead, but he left it up to Velasquez.
"Last time it was muddy, and she was behind a lot of dirt," Jerkens said. "We put her on Salix because we thought it would help her a little bit. She's such a very, very small horse, and she bled just a little amount, but we figured next time it could be much worse."
The third choice, Teammate paid $12.40, $6.40, and $4, topping a $63.20 exacta with Wonder Lady Anne L ($7.80, $4.20), ridden by Edgar Prado. Wait a While was $2.40 to show.
Smart N Pretty, who reared in the starting gate and delayed the loading for several minutes, finished fourth. Better Now, Mia's Reflection, and French Park trailed.
The multiple graded stakes winner French Park, racing for the first time since seeing her undefeated record ended in the Silverbulletday (gr. III) Jan. 14 at Louisiana Downs, was not a factor. The 5-2 second choice chased the pace while four wide for most of the journey and dropped out of contention on the final turn.