Musical Romance completed her rags-to-riches story when she was named champion female sprinter for 2011. As bigger names such as Turbulent Descent, Hilda’s Passion, Switch, and Sassy Image garnered the publicity through the early and middle stages of the season, the daughter of Concorde's Tune--Candlelightdinner, by Slew Gin Fizz, was improving steadily under the radar.
The final balloting showed Musical Romance with 131 votes, Hilda’s Passion with 53, and Sassy Image getting 46.
A $22,000 purchase out of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April 2-year-olds in training sale, Musical Romance blossomed under the tutelage of veteran Florida trainer Bill Kaplan, who purchased her out of the consignment of her breeder, Ocala Stud. Kaplan, who co-owns the filly with Adam Lazarus’ Pinnacle Racing Stables, had an iron horse on his hands. Musical Romance made 13 starts as a 3-year-old in 2010, and came back in 2011 to race 14 times.
After scoring a pair of minor 2011 stakes victories at Calder in South Florida, Musical Romance tipped her hand in the July 9 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I), where she ran second a neck to the highly regarded Sassy Image. After another Calder stakes win, Kaplan and Lazarus took their filly on the road, where she won the Sept. 10 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. II) and ran a solid second in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
There was no stopping her in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (gr. I), where she held off Switch by 1 1/4 lengths, becoming a millionaire for the season.
Lazarus furthers the rags-to-riches theme. The New Jersey native moved to Florida hoping to become a sportscaster, and wound up a successful copy machine salesman whose father is a golfing buddy of Kaplan’s. When Lazarus decided to put together racing partnerships on a small scale, his father introduced him to Kaplan, and now the connections have an Eclipse Award for their trophy case.
“To go where we have with this filly is beyond our imagination,” noted Lazarus. “This (Eclipse) means so much to us.”