Lukewarm favorite Warbling scored the first stakes win of her career March 14 when she went gate to wire for jockey Julien Leparoux in the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Gulfstream Park.
The 4-year-old filly scored by 3 3/4 lengths over Tar Heel Mom while completing the seven-furlong distance in a solid 1:21.92 over a fast track.
Tar Heel Mom, ridden by Alan Garcia, finished 4 1/4 lengths clear of the show horse, Thunders Dove, with Paco Lopez aboard.
Sent off at odds of nearly 3-1, Warbling broke alertly to take control of the pace over second choice Kays and Jays and Pinkarella while spinning quick fractions of :22.25 and :44.78. Under urging from Leparoux, she opened up by three lengths by mid-stretch and increased her margin in the drive to the wire.
“It wasn’t the plan to be on the lead, but she broke very sharp and was comfortable in front," Leparoux said. "And as long as she was comfortable, I was happy. She went fast, but actually it felt like I was just cruising along very nicely, and when I asked her she just broke again and she finished very well.”
The stalking Tar Heel Mom was stuck four wide on the turn and failed to match strides in the stretch while finishing a clear second.
“I have no excuses," Garcia said. "My filly ran a good race and she was second best. The winner just got away from us.”
Kays and Jays, who defeated both Warbling and Tar Heel Mom in winning the 6 1/2-furlong Hurricane Bertie Stakes (gr. III) over the track Feb. 13, faded to eighth under Jose Lezcano.
Joseph W. Sutton's Warbling finished third in the Hurricane Bertie after an awkward start. She started the Gulfstream meet with a runner-up finish in the six-furlong Sugar Swirl Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 9 when she finished a head behind Pretty Prolific on a sloppy track.
The lightly raced gray/roan daughter of Unbridled's Song --Impassion, by Shadeed, posted her third win in five starts and boosted her earnings to $211,790 with the winning purse of $120,000.
“I’ve thought she was special from the beginning," said victorious trainer Eddie Kenneally. "Her two races last year in Kentucky (maiden and allowance wins to begin her career) were very good and I was looking forward to this winter here. She didn’t break well last time (in the Hurricane Bertie), but she was sharp today, although I really didn’t think she would be on the lead."
Charles H. Deters bred Warbling, a $260,000 Keeneland yearling buy at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Kenneally said Warbling's goal is the $300,000 Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs over seven furlongs May 1.
"As long as there are good races for her going one turn we’ll keep her doing that, but maybe down the line try and stretch her out,” he said.
Warbling paid $7.80, $4.40, and $3.40 while keying a $42.80 exacta. Tar Heel Mom, from the Stanley Hough stable, returned $6.40 and $4.60. The Nick Zito-trained Thunders Dove rebounded from an eighth-place showing in the Sugar Swirl, paying $6.20 to show.
Pretty Prolific finished fourth, followed by Pinkarella, Saratoga Tango, First Passage and Kays and Jays. Honchis'n Ponchis was eased in the stretch. Cuvee Uncorked scratched.