Champion female sprinter Musical Romance earned her first win of the season when she split horses in deep stretch to capture the $150,000 Inside Information Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) March 17 at Gulfstream Park.
The 5-year-old daughter of Concorde’s Tune had been off the board in all five of her previous starts on the Gulfstream main track, but she timed her moved perfectly under Juan Leyva to take the seven-furlong Inside Information by three parts of a length over 55-1 longshot Hot Summer. Favored Groupie Doll was third in what was a tight race throughout.
The final time on the fast track was 121.88.
Winner of the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) in November at Churchill Downs that locked up her season-ending Eclipse Award, Musical Romance was a troubled fourth in her 2012 debut, the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at Gulfstream. But she returned to her home base at Calder with two sharp works since then for trainer Bill Kaplan, who also owns the mare along with Pinnacle Racing Stable.
Musical Romance improved to 10-5-7 from 35 lifetime starts and earnings of $1,315,350. She was bred in Florida by Ocala Stud and is out of the Slew Gin Fizz mare Candlelightdinner.
Breaking from post 5, Musical Romance was always close to the pace, racing in fourth behind pacesetter Funny Sunny, Hurricane Bertie (gr. III) winner R Holiday Mood, and Hot Summer, who was unexpectedly involved under Luis Saez. The opening fractions were :23.21 and :46.07.
When they hit the top of the lane Hot Summer took over from a tiring Funny Sunny, and R Holiday Mood was still there on the outside with John Velazquez aboard. Musical Romance was still in just behind those three when they began their stretch run, and inside the sixteenth pole she split the two leaders with an impressive burst to lock up the victory.
Hot Summer, who was well-beaten in her last two tries, finished second, a half-length in front of Groupie Doll and Rajiv Maragh. R Holiday Mood was fourth in a field of 10.
“You know what; I had a beautiful trip, just like I envisioned it," Leyva said. "Sit behind the speed and when we turned for home I just turned her loose and I had a lot in the tank. I was in tight a little bit, but it was just a matter of being patient, waiting. I know once I ask this filly she’s going to go through anything. This filly is awesome.”
Musical Romance secured her third career graded stakes win. She also scored the Presque Isle Downs Masters (gr. II) last year.
"She really had no chance after she grabbed her quarter (left fore) in her last race," Kaplan said. "It was a pretty nasty injury and got infected. She didn’t even walk for four days after the race and didn’t train for three weeks, but she breezed beautifully and when we got her back and I knew she was okay I knew she would be ready for this race.
"It always day-to-day, but the tentative schedule of races for her if everything went well would include the Vinery Madison at Keeneland (April 12), the Humana Distaff at Churchill (May 5) and back to Calder for the Princess Rooney (July 7).”
The winner, carrying top weight of 123 pounds, paid $11.20, $6.40, and $4.60. Hot Summer returned $36.80 and $14.20, and filled out an exacta (5-8) worth $464.60. The trifecta (5-8-9) was worth $1,151.30 for $1.