Stakes Could be Next for Sumaya U.S. Stables' Ghalia

Stakes Could be Next for Sumaya U.S. Stables' Ghalia
Photo: Leslie Martin
Ghalia wins an optional-claiming allowance race Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park

Sumaya U.S. Stables' Ghalia stamped herself as a candidate for the April 1 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) with a gutsy performance in the featured ninth race Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park.

The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro  , who debuted Jan. 22 at Gulfstream with a 6 3/4-length victory, set a pressured pace before drawing away to win Wednesday's 6 1/2-furlong entry-level optional-claiming allowance. The Todd Pletcher-trained filly ran the distance in 1:19.31 to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths over late-closing Modacious.

"I'm proud of her, bringing her back on a little bit of a short rest and stretching out a little bit in distance," Pletcher said. "She was under pressure the whole way. She broke OK, but kind of had to rush up there a little to protect her position. She had a lot of pressure from the outside, while setting fast fractions on this type of (demanding) track. So I was proud of her for digging down and finding a little more. I think that should move her forward.

"At some point we've got to stretch her out. I wouldn't be afraid to try her back in the Gulfstream Oaks April 1."
 

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