Gozzip Girl Zaps Doubters in American Oaks
Favored Gozzip Girl gave a superb performance from off the pace to win the crowded $700,000 American Oaks Invitational (gr. IT) (VIDEO) by 3 1/4 lengths at Hollywood Park July 5.
“She had a huge turn of foot like we saw in her race down at Gulfstream,” Albertrani said. “I was hoping to see that today. I think we needed that to win today.”
As Gozzip Girl skipped away to victory under some left-handed urging, Well Monied and Lexlenos closed to claim second and third, respectively. The unlucky Magical Affair wound up fourth. The final time was 2:00.22.
Afternoon Stroll took the early lead as British invader Apple Charlotte pressed through fractions of :24.19, :47.47 and 1:11.61. Third Dawn, third along the inside, took advantage of Afternoon Stroll racing off the rail to grab the lead with a half-mile to run and she took the field into the stretch with Afternoon Stroll and Apple Charlotte close by. But all three would drop out of it as Gozzip Girl and the other back markers charged into contention. Both Well Monied, ridden by Joel Rosario, and Lexlenos. with Alex Solis aboard, closed with interest, but never threatened the winner. Well Monied finished a half-length in front of Lexlenos.
“This race has been on our radar ever since Gulfstream Park,” Albertrani said. “I was here last year with Raw Silk (who finished off the board) and I always wanted to come back again. When this filly started to show me that she was a really nice filly, this was the race we had planned way back then.
"She's very much a lovely ride,” Desormeaux said. “She's very graceful. She really loomed up boldly and got to that first flight quickly. It was just a matter of picking a gap and giving her somewhere to run. I know she's very talented, but she really ran fantastic today. She won handily."
Well Monied took the overland route from 13th to finish impressively.
“We overcame a lot to be second,” trainer Howard Zucker said. “This was like a Breeders’ Cup field. What a job they did with this race. We just needed a better trip. None of them tried harder than my horse.”
Magical Affair was followed by Acting Lady, Afternoon Stroll, The Best Day Ever, Apple Charlotte, Third Dawn, Nan, Rare Ransom, Mrs Kipling, Pretty Unusual and Puttanesca.
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