Ozone Bere made her United States debut a winning one when she shot through at the fence to win the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares by a head Saturday on Pimlico Race Course turf.
Owned by Jean-Claude Seroul and trained by Christophe Clement, the gray Ozone Bere had made her last start in early January at Deauville in France, where she was bred. She entered the Gallorette with a record of eight wins from 15 starts, all on the turf.
In the 1 1/16-mile Gallorette, jockey Javier Castellano saved ground off the pace with Ozone Bere in the 13-horse field, waited for racing room in the lane and found a seam in midstretch. The 4-year-old filly by Verglas out of the Rainbow Quest mare Ajab Alzamaan took to the fence and won a hard-fought battle to defeat an unlucky Humoristic, ridden by Ramon Dominguez. Art Fan, with Ryan Fogelsonger, nosed 17-10 favorite My Typhoon and Edgar Prado for third.
Ozone Bere, who increased her career earnings to $262,016, paid $17.40, $9.40 and $7. Humoristic returned $7.60 and $5.60. Art Fan was $6 to show.
Fractions for the Gallorette were :23.85 for the first quarter-mile, :47.02 for a half-mile, 1:11.05 for six furlongs, 1:35.79 for the mile, and 1:42.08 for the 1 1/16 miles on a course rated firm.
"We had a good draw and there was quite a bit of speed in the race," said Nicholas Bachalard, assistant to Clement. "So we just wanted to keep our good position. Our jockey gets all the credit for winning this race. He timed it perfectly and was able to get through on the inside when he needed to."
"For her first time in the country, this filly did everything perfect," Castellano said.
Humoristic was wide through the first turn and pressured the pacemaker Queen Supreme until grabbing the lead at the head of the stretch.
"I wish I would have stayed closer to the rail so that the winner would have to go around me, then maybe the outcome would have been different," Dominguez said of the runner-up.
My Typhoon was followed by Smart N Classy, Feelin' the Breeze, Laurafina, Zona, Topiary, Miss Audrey, Thetactics Ofdance, Ernabel and Queen Supreme. Amorama, one of the morning line favorites for trainer Bobby Frankel, was scratched.