Sightseek, winning the Rampart Handicap.

Sightseek, winning the Rampart Handicap.


Sightseek Roars Back in Rampart

Juddmonte Farms' Sightseek looked like her old self Sunday, demolishing three rivals by 7 1/2 lengths in the $194,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.

Ridden by Jerry Bailey for trainer Bobby Frankel, Sightseek, toting top weight of 121 pounds, gained command from pacesetter Roar Emotion near the quarter pole and drew away in the stretch while well in hand hand. The winning time for the 1 1/8-mile Rampart was 1:51.

By Distant View-Viviana (by Nureyev), the 5-year-old chestnut mare ended a two-race losing streak that began with a well-beaten fourth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Santa Anita Oct. 25. In her first start this year, she was fourth behind Island Fashion in the seven-furlong Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Jan. 25.

"I was very thrilled," Frankel said. "After two bad races I thought it was the track. After this we know it was the track. She's 9-for-9 on dirt tracks other than Santa Anita. It's a real dirt track without much sand in it. She just doesn't grab hold of a real dirt track like that. When she came out of the gate you could tell she could handle this. Jerry could have opened her up by like five. She broke a half-length in front."

Outside of Santa Anita, where she is zero for five, Sightseek has been almost unbeatable, winning nine of 10 in her career. Her first race at Gulfstream was worth $120,000 to her connections, increasing her lifetime earnings to $1,568,866.

Roar Emotion, breaking from the rail, inherited the lead for John Velazquez, setting sensible fractions of :24 3/5, :48 2/5 and 1:11 4/5. Sightseek, a length off in second while taken in hand, increased the pressure on the second turn and soon overtook Roar Emotion, leaving the others in the dust after a mile in 1:37 2/5.

"Anybody could have ridden her," Bailey said. "I knew Johnny would probably take me out a little on the first turn, but I wasn' t really concerned. I had so much horse, I was just trying to give her a nice easy trip around the racetrack."

Redoubled Miss, the longest shot in the field at 20-1, came on to gain second with Eibar Coa in the irons, two lengths ahead of Lead Story and Calvin Borel, who trailed into the stretch. Tiring Roar Emotion was last, 18 1/2 lengths behind Sightseek.

Frankel said Sightseek would return to California and could next run in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on May 1.

Sightseek paid $3 and $2.60. Redoubled Miss returned $5.40. The $2 exacta was worth $32.60.

(Chart, Equibase)