Successful Song was supposed to be embarking on a new career as a broodmare by now, but her connections at Live Oak Plantation changed the plan for their homebred daughter of Successful Appeal thanks to her winning ways during the Gulfstream Park meet.
The 6-year-old mare has been kept in training after victories in the $100,000 Ocala Stakes Dec. 30 and the $300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff Jan. 19. She will seek her sixth career stakes triumph in the $150,000 Rampart (gr. III) March 30, one of five graded stakes on the undercard of the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby.
"She has been doing just fantastic and he has been getting better with age, as we can see from her last two races," said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who is also slated to saddle Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (gr. III) winner Itsmyluckyday for a start in the Florida Derby. "She's doing well enough that they decided to cancel her retirement and date in the breeding shed to keep her racing for another year."
Successful Song has won a stakes in each of the last four years, earning $597,538 in purses, including $240,000 in her last two races.
"She's maintained her soundness and has gotten better—I think her numbers bear that out. It's just a credit to her," Plesa said. "We've always had a plan with her. We've always given her time off, and I think that's really helped to maintain her and given her the longevity that she's had."
Elvis Trujillo has the return mount aboard the Plesa-trained mare from post 3.
Successful Song is scheduled to tangle with another 6-year-old mare in the Rampart, a 1 1/8-mile stakes event that attracted a field of six with an approximate post time of 1:54 p.m. EDT. In stark contrast to the Plesa-trained veteran who will be making her 28th start, Padua Stables' Authenticity is set to make her stakes debut in only the sixth race of her career.
After breaking her maiden in the second start of a three-race campaign in 2011, Authenticity had an 18-month layoff before debuting for trainer Todd Pletcher with a third-place finish in a mile allowance at Gulfstream Jan. 21. The daughter of Quiet American was sent around two turns Feb. 14, and responded with a sparkling 17 1/2-length triumph.
"I think the (inside post) going a one-turn mile hurt us (in her first race). She didn't jump away from the gate that well and kind of got jammed in behind horses the whole way," Pletcher said. "She's a two-turn filly."
Pletcher is also scheduled to saddle Michael Tabor's Ciao Bella for the Rampart. The 4-year-old Giant's Causeway filly is coming off a sharp 5 3/4-length allowance optional claiming victory over Gulfstream's main track after going winless in four starts on turf.
"We were a little bit frustrated. She didn't seem to be finishing off her races like we expected her to," Pletcher said.
Ciao Bella had demonstrated a fondness for the main track at Gulfstream while capturing her career debut by more than seven lengths Dec. 18, 2011. After coming back to win a Monmouth Park allowance in July and finish fourth in an overnight stakes at Saratoga Race Course in August, she was switched to turf for the Garden City (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, in which she finished fourth. She ran second in stakes at Keeneland and Calder Casino & Race Course before finishing third in a Gulfstream allowance in December. Then Pletcher sent her back to the main track for her impressive February score.
John Velazquez is named to ride Ciao Bella from the inside post, while Rosie Napravnik has the mount aboard Authenticity from post 5.
Rounding out the field are Miller Racing's Call The Ten, Howard T. Whitbred's Go Unbridled, and Frank Mancari and Pat Greco's One Last Dance, who finished a distant fourth behind champion Royal Delta in the Feb. 17 Sabin Stakes (gr. III) last time out.
$150,000 Rampart Stakes (gr. III, Race 4, approximate post time 1:54 p.m. EDT), fillies & mares 4YOs & Up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)