Favored Victorina, stablemate of Lost in the Fog, made the trip to Florida from California worthwhile with a late rally to win the $295,500 Azalea Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Calder Race Course.
Victorina, coming off a third-place finish in Churchill Down's one-mile Dogwood Breeders' Cup (gr. III), earned her first graded stakes win at odds of 9-5.
Ridden by Russell Baze for trainer Greg Gilchrist and owner Harry J. Aleo, the bay Delaware Township
filly rallied on the inside of pacesetting Frolicing after making a three wide move on the turn to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a six-furlong time of 1:11 2/5.
Frolicing, with Able Castellano Jr., aboard, finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of G City Gal for second but was disqualified to third for interference following an objection from G City Gal's rider Edgar Prado.
"On the turn, (Frolicing) drifted out and took a horse out in our path," Baze said. "I had to steady a little and she settled back in the pack. As soon as I gathered her, she jumped back into it and ran right to them. She's really a sweetheart to ride – will do anything you want."
Frolicing set a quick early pace of :21 3/5 and :44 4/5 but bore out leaving the turn and bothered G City Gal while unable to hold off Victorina, who took advantage of Frolicing's erratic trip by angling to the inside and getting the lead near the eighth pole.
"She got in a lot of trouble in her last race, but we wanted to see if she could finish going a mile, and she did," Gilchrist said. "We thought we would have to come from well off the pace today, but that worked out in her favor when we avoided the trouble in front of her, and she got a clear run to the wire."
Gilchrist said the Test (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 5 is one option for Victorina.
A Sea Trippi finished fourth followed by Rich Fantasy, Momer, Bayou's Lassie, and Mykindasaint.
Victorina, who began her career with four wins in five starts, ended a mild two-race losing streak while improving her lifetime mark to 5-2-1 in eight starts. The winning share, $176,000, increased her earnings to $330,378.
A $160,000 Ocala sale in April 2005, Victorina is out of Since Time Began (Rubiano). Sez Who Thoroughbreds bred Victorina in Florida.
Victorina paid $5.60, $2.80, and $2.20. G City Gal returned $3 and $2.60. Frolicing, the 2-1 second choice, was $3.20 to show.