Joseph Allen's Roar Emotion pulled clear of Ivanavinalot at the top of the stretch and buried her rivals under strong urging from John Velazquez, posting a 5 1/2-length triumph in the $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) at Gulstream Park Sunday.
Nonsuch Bay was second, three-quarters of a length ahead of the late-running Lead Story, who finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of Ivanavinalot. Roar Emotion's winning time for the 1 1/16-mile test for fillies and mares was 1:43 1/5. She caried 116 pounds, three less than top-weighted Lead Story.
Smok'n Frolic, the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine who was ridden by Jerry Bailey, finished seventh, beaten by 15 lengths.
Velazquez put Roar Emotion on the outside of Ivanavinalot, where she pressured the early leader through fractions of :23 4/5, :47 3/5 and 1:11 4/5. At the head of the stretch, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Roar
took command, quickly pulling away to a four-length advantage while completing the mile in 1:36 3/5. She continued under a drive all the way to the finish.
Nonsuch Bay, reserved off the pace while racing to the inside throughout, angled out in the stretch and offered a mild bid under Cornelio Velasquez. Lead Story, outrun early, closed nicely along the rail for Calvin Borel to get the show spot over Ivanavinalot, who gave way after a good effort.
It was the second straight win for Roar Emotion since transferring to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's stable from Carlos Martin. Roar Emotion tuned up for the Sabin with a gate-to-wire victory in an optional claiming allowance race Jan. 15 at Gulfstream. She now boasts a 5-2-0 record in eight lifetime starts and earnings of $390,060.
Bred by Brenda Jones, Roar Emotion was sold at Ocala in April 2002 for $37,000.
She paid $6.40, $4.40 and $3.40 as the public's second choice. Nonsuch Bay returned $6.40 and $4.20. Lead Story's show was $4.20. The $2 exacta was worth $40.60.
Secret Request finished fifth, followed by Final Round, Smok'n Frolic, Grab Bag and Passing Shot.
Smok'n Frolic never recovered from a rough start, when she bore out and bumped with Passing Shot after being checked behind the pacesetters going into the first turn. After tracking the leaders into the far turn, she faded.