G. Watts Humphrey’s undefeated filly One Caroline shoots for her fifth win in as many starts when she takes on six fillies and mares in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (gr. II) March 29 at Gulfstream Park.
On paper, it doesn’t appear there is anything the speedy daughter of Unbridled's Song can’t handle in the 1 1/8-mile dirt contest, but she will be trying to distance for the first time for trainer Rusty Arnold. Other than One Caroline, the only other graded stakes winner in the field is Darley Stable’s Sea Chanter, who won the Miesque Stakes (gr. III) back in 2007.
One Caroline enters the Rampart off of a wire-to-wire victory in the one-mile Sabin Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 22 at Gulfstream, where she scored by a length in her stakes debut. A month earlier the 4-year-old filly took an allowance event at the same distance in similar fashion, only she romped home by nearly seven lengths in that one.
One Caroline won each of her starts as a sophomore while racing at Churchill Downs. Both of them were at 1 1/16 miles.
A $400,000 yearling, One Caroline was bred in Kentucky by Payson Stud and is out of the Broad Brush mare Powder. She tuned up for the Rampart March 22 with a bullet four-furlong work in :48-flat at Palm Meadows. Edgar Prado will fly back from the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in time for the mount.
Though she doesn’t have much to show for it, Stronach Stables’ Ginger Brew has displayed nice form in two starts this season and might have the best chance of running down One Caroline. The 4-year-old Milwaukee Brew filly opened her 2009 campaign with a third-place finish in the Jan. 11 Marshua’s River Stakes on the Gulfstream turf, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths for it all. One month later the Brian Lynch trainee came from well back and overcame a troubled trip to miss by three parts of a length in the Endeavour (gr. IIIT) on the Tampa Bay Downs grass. She finished fifth in that hotly-contested race.
Though Ginger Brew has only one start on natural dirt, it came on the Gulfstream dirt in February of 2008 and she faired well. The chestnut was beaten just three-quarters of a length in a one-mile allowance test. To date, Ginger Brew’s biggest win came in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks last summer. She was then beaten a head in the $1 million Queen’s Plate.
Javier Castellano will ride Ginger Brew and they will break from the rail.
Nick Zito trainee Striking Tomisue also enters the Rampart in fine form. A daughter of Smart Strike, she won by 1 1/2 lengths in optional claiming company Feb. 8 at Gulfstream and returned less than three weeks later to score in the two-turn Wayward Lass Stakes on the Tampa Bay strip. Jermaine Bridgmohan will get the return mount on Striking Tomisue, who finished off-the-board in both of her graded stakes efforts.
J. Mack Robinson’s homebred African Violet is likely to improve off her 2009 debut, when she finished fourth in optional claiming company Feb. 18 at Gulfstream after being off for more than six months. The Lemon Drop Kid filly ran her best lifetime race last summer when finishing runner-up to Proud Spell in the Delaware Oaks (gr. II), but hasn’t come close to equaling that effort in two starts since then. Julien Leparoux will ride for Graham Motion.