Swift Temper Pulls Gardenia Shocker

Swift Temper, who was 2-for-18 lifetime and had not won since February of 2007, pulled off a shocker in the $150,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) Aug. 16 at Ellis Park, romping to a 4 1/2-length victory under Victor Lebron at odds of 21-1.

A 4-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway, Swift Temper was third through the backstretch, took over from pacesetter Miss Atlantic coming off the turn, and easily drew clear in the stretch. She stopped the clock in 1:37.55 in the one-mile Gardenia, the feature event of the Ellis Park summer meet.

Marquee Delivery was runner-up under John McKee, 3 1/2 lengths in front of Unforgotten. Odds-on favorite Fancy Fusaichi finished fourth in a field of six fillies and mares.

Swift Temper entered the Gardenia after running fifth in allowance-optional claiming company July 10 at Belmont. She was plucked for $50,000 prior to that race by Mark Stanley and transferred to the barn of Dale Romans. Prior to that, she was trained by Bobby Barnett and, most recently, Kiaran McLaughlin.

Though Swift Temper was winless in her last 10 starts and had hit the board just once in those efforts, she was a highly-regarded 3-year-old. She ran in three graded stakes as a sophomore, including the 2007 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), where she finished 10th to Rags to Riches. Other than her maiden special weight victory in 2006, her lone victory was in allowance company at Fair Grounds.

Miss Atlantic was sent to the early lead in the Gardenia, posting fractions of :24.43 and :48.06 under Tracy Herbert. Kathleens Reel stalked the pace, while Swift Temper sat patiently in third. Swift Temper began to make her bid around the turn from a three-wide position, and wore down Miss Atlantic after six furlongs. She opened up a four-length lead at the furlong marker and extended that advantage in the stretch.

The winner lit up the tote board by paying $44.60, $18.20, and $8. The exacta (5-3) returned $226.40, with the trifecta (5-3-6) netting $812.80.

View Stakes Details and Full Equibase Chart

Bred in Kentucky by Richard Nip and Omar Trevino, Swift Temper is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Glasgow’s Gold. She was a $285,000 purchase at the Keeneland 2005 September yearling sale. She has now earned $189,679.