Mike Rutherford's homebred Taittinger Rose mowed down her rivals in the stretch with a bold move on the outside to register her first graded stakes victory Saturday in the $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.
Outrun early, Edgar Prado guided the 8-5 favorite in a field of six from the back of the pack on the far turn in the 1 1/8-mile Sabin. With a sweeping five-wide move around the bend and into the stretch, Taitttinger Rose finished willingly under pressure for a 2 1/4-length decision in a time of 1:50 2/5 on a fast track. Mocita, ridden by Eddie Castro, overtook Darling Daughter and Mark Guidry for second by a half-length.
"It worked out great for me today," Prado said. "The other horses in the race all had a little speed. So I just waited and, when I went outside in the stretch, she gave me another gear."
Bill Mott trains the victorious 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Menifee
, who had been winless in her last five starts while finishing in the money each time. Prado rode her for the first time.
"It's all about producing her at the right time," said Mott's assistant, Kenny McCarthy. "Edgar did that today. She'll always try for you. You might lose a little ground, but she'll always give you her run."
Taittinger Rose's last win came in the restricted Sky Beauty at Belmont Park in September. She was coming off a second-place finish, a half-length behind Eyes On Eddy, in the Suwannee River on a sloppy sealed Gulfstream strip Feb. 4. Taittinger Rose has a record of 6-7-5 in 23 starts with earnings of $382,503.
The grade III winner Miss Matched, the second choice of the public at 2-1 and making her first start since Sept. 30, set the pace (:23 1/5, :46 3/5 and 1:10 3/5) but was finished on the far turn as the stalking Darling Daughter took over heading into the drive. But the closers, Taittinger Rose and Mocita, finished best of all.
Out of the Wild Again mare La Rosa, Taittinger Rose piad $5.40, $2.80, and $2.10. Mocita returned $4.40 and $2.40, completing a $22.40 exacta. Darling Daughter was $2.40 to show.
The Argentine-bred Potra Clasica finished fourth, followed by Leona's Knight and Miss Matched.