Off the Tracks Impressive in Comeback

J Stables' Off the Tracks, who won her first two starts in 2015, returned from an eight-month layoff Feb. 21 at Gulfstream Park with a 4 1/4-length win in the $65,000 Margate Handicap.

Video: Margate H.

Trained by Roderick Rodriguez, the 3-year-old Curlin  filly had been away since her victory in the Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course last August. Off the Tracks was sidelined after that score with a knee injury that required surgery.

"Our goal is the (Longines Kentucky) Oaks," Rodriguez said. "God willing, everything is good and she stays sound. That's what we're shooting for."

Off the Tracks, the 9-5 second choice in a field of seven fillies and mares, sat comfortably behind pacesetter Ballet Diva on backstretch through a :45 3/5 half-mile and pulled away to win the 6 1/2-furlong stakes in 1:17.29 over Sugar Cone on a fast track.

Off the Tracks, who won her debut at Gulfstream before shipping to Saratoga last summer, raced as the 120-pound co-highweight with multiple stakes-winning Ballet Diva.

"I was very impressed," Rodriguez said. "The pace was so fast that I was afraid it was going to take a toll on her at the end, and Tap to It closes fast. But, she's just an incredible filly. The sky's the limit with her."

Sugar Cone finished a head in front of Daddy's Great Bay. Tap to It, the 4-5 favorite who hadn't run since finishing a troubled sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Keeneland Oct. 31, finished fifth.

Off the Tracks, who was purchased for $50,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale, might return in the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) April 2.