The 3-year-old daughter of Kafwain, ridden by Rajiv Maragh for trainer Mark Hennig, began a move on the outside rounding the far turn and held challenges from Rock Candy and Ameribelle entering the stretch. The filly continued to draw off as she completed the 1 1/16 miles in stakes-record time of 1:43 3/5 for her third victory in six career starts.
Don’t Forget Gil paid $4.40, $2.60, and $2.10 for the victory as she avenged a third-place finish as the 6-5 favorite in Tampa Bay’s Suncoast Stakes. Ameribelle, second in the Suncoast, was the Florida Oaks runner-up, returning $3.60 and $2.20. Suncoast winner Rock Candy paid $2.20 while finishing third.
Bred in New York by Jonathan Thorne, Don’t Forget Gil broke her maiden in her career debut at Belmont Park before finishing second in an allowance. In her stakes debut, the filly won the East View Stakes and Aqueduct and followed with a third-place finish in the Busanda Stakes previous to the Suncoast. The Oaks victory improved her earnings to $201,867.
“I was (pretty confident coming into the Florida Oaks),” said owner Brodsky. “This horse is something special. She’s as good a horse as I’ve ever had, and I’m very happy with her. It’s been a really enjoyable day. We’re going to look around and do what’s best for her. Certainly the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) is a possibility.”