In the Rough used a rail-skimming ride from Joe Bravo to register her first stakes win in the $125,000 Coconut Grove (VIDEO) over the Gulfstream Park turf Feb. 14.
The Kelly Breen-trained daughter of Stormy Atlantic jumped out of a runner-up finish in a first-level allowance grass race to defeat eight rival 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/16-mile Coconut Grove at odds of nearly 11-1.
"That's how we roll," Bravo told HRTV with a broad smile afterward. "The ladies always treat us good on Valentine's Day."
The stalking In the Rough defeated favored Check the Label by three-quarters of a length while timed in 1:42.65 over a course rated good.
Breaking from post 8, In the Rough was able to maneuver to the inside down the back side while racing in fourth as Blackwell showed the way through soft quarter-mile fractions of :23.98, :48.86, and 1:13.28. Dattt Echo, positioned three wide into the stretch, went for the lead first under Eddie Castro, but could not hold off In the Rough, advancing quickly along the inside past mid-stretch.
In the Rough, who was steadied briefly off the far turn waiting for room, was fully extended to hold off the late-running Check the Label, who charged on the far outside at odds of 3-1 with Alan Garcia aboard. Dattt Echo held third, a half-length farther back.
"Kelly did a great job getting her ready," Bravo said. "She really excels on the grass. My only concern was getting her around everybody. But she sat in the pocket really comfortable, and when she needed to go, she did."
Owned by Lori and George Hall, In the Rough won for the second time in six starts while boosting her earnings to $107,950. The bay filly snapped a three-race losing streak since breaking her maiden by 6 3/4 lengths at the Meadowlands over a sloppy track last October. This was her second start on the turf.
“One of the great advantages of being stabled at Palm Meadows is that you get to try them on the turf in the morning and she showed she liked it," Breen explained. "With the outside post, I told Joe to try to get over and save as much ground as possible, which he did; and then a hole opened up when they needed it and she got through.
"If everything goes all right she’ll run back in the race on March 6 (gr. III $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf). She broke her maiden on a muddy track, so we’ve got that going for us and probably wouldn’t have to scratch if a race comes off the grass.”
Lazy Lane Farms bred the winner in Virginia. A $40,000 auction purchase as a yearling in 2008, she is out of Old Fashion Girl, by Arch .
In the Rough paid $23.80, $9.80, and $6.40 and combined with Check the Label ($4.40, $3) for a $113 exacta. Dattt Echo was $6.20 to show.
“My trip was good," Garcia said of the journey aboard Check the Label. "I saw (In the Rough) on the rail, but I didn’t think she was coming up as good as she was. My filly still ran well.”
Khancord Kid finished fourth, followed by Upperline, Martita Sangrita, Dancing Rage, Blackwell, and Lucky Lass. Age of Humor and Sassy Image were entered for the main track only.