Ghalia wins an optional-claiming allowance race Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park

Ghalia wins an optional-claiming allowance race Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park

Leslie Martin

Stakes Could be Next for Sumaya U.S. Stables' Ghalia

Medaglia d'Oro filly registered easy allowance win Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park.

Sumaya U.S. Stables' Ghalia stamped herself as a candidate for the April 1 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) with a gutsy performance in the featured ninth race Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park.

The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro , who debuted Jan. 22 at Gulfstream with a 6 3/4-length victory, set a pressured pace before drawing away to win Wednesday's 6 1/2-furlong entry-level optional-claiming allowance. The Todd Pletcher-trained filly ran the distance in 1:19.31 to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths over late-closing Modacious.

"I'm proud of her, bringing her back on a little bit of a short rest and stretching out a little bit in distance," Pletcher said. "She was under pressure the whole way. She broke OK, but kind of had to rush up there a little to protect her position. She had a lot of pressure from the outside, while setting fast fractions on this type of (demanding) track. So I was proud of her for digging down and finding a little more. I think that should move her forward.

"At some point we've got to stretch her out. I wouldn't be afraid to try her back in the Gulfstream Oaks April 1."