Five-year-old Gerrman-bred mare Binya won her second straight in the United States Saturday at Gulfstream Park, recording a sharp 2 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf.
Ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and owner Joseph Allen, the 2-1 favorite in the field of 12 stalked in second before overtaking pacesetter May Gator coming out of the final turn.
Though she'd never gone farther than 1 1/8 mile previously, she sped away under urging for an easy win.
"We had a perfect trip, couldn't ask for better," Velazquez said. "She was a little strong-headed the first part, but once she relaxed, she was fine. I don't think any distance is out of the question for her. If I can get her to relax like I did today, she'll run all day."
Second choice Ocean Silk was up for second under Pat Day, a half-length ahead of another German-bred mare, the Gary Tanaka-owned 6-year-old Boana. Rene Douglas rode Boana.
Binya paid $6.20, $3.40 and $2.80 and Ocean Silk paid $3.60 and $2.80. Boana returned $5 to show. The final time on firm going was 2:19 3/5.
A daughter of Royal Solo, Binya captured her U.S. debut at Gulfstream over a nine-furlong allowance field by 3 1/4 lengths on Jan. 16. Binya, who had competed in France in most of her starts, was out of action since November 2002. She has won five of 11 starts with two seconds and two thirds for $158,015.
"She appears to want to run all day," McLaughlin said. "That's what Johnny (Velazquez) has been telling us. She wants to do anything we want her to do. You could probably cut her back to a mile next week and she would still be very difficult to beat because she's a very good filly. She came to us (from Europe) in September or October. She didn't have any quirks. She was very straight forward, a very classy filly."
In the day's first race, Kentucky Derby hopeful Eddington, the 3-year-old son of 1990 Derby winner Unbridled, won easily by 5 1/2 lengths with Jerry Bailey riding.