With 1-2 favorite Curlin's Approval not firing, Veb Racing Stable's Distinta closed fast to earn her first graded score by a half-length in the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes (G2) March 18 at Gulfstream Park.
The Summer Bird mare came into the race after finishing second by a neck to Moment of Delight, who faded to seventh in Saturday's race, in Gulfstream's White Pearl Stakes Feb. 18.
The 94-1 longshot Danessa Again led the field through the first quarter in :22.71 and a half-mile in :45.45.
Dearest made a bold three-wide move on the turn and was all alone in the stretch, where she pulled away by three or four lengths before Distinta and jockey John Velazquez, followed by Wheatfield and Edgar Prado who claimed second, closed the distance and just got by Dearest who held for third.
Final time for the seven furlongs on the fast track was 1:23.93.
Distinta returned $25.80, $10.40, and $9.20 across the board.
"I wanted to be closer to the horses up front," Velazquez said. "It worked out really well. When I asked her down the lane, she responded really good. I saw her the last time and it looked like she was too far back. She had to make up too much ground."
Trained by Venezuela native Victor Barboza Jr., 5-year-old Distinta has finished third or better in her last six starts, which included a win in an optional-claiming allowance race just before her third-place finish in the Jan. 28 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3), which was won by Curlin's Approval.
"I told (Velazquez) to watch the replay of her last race," Barboza said. "No more. Johnny is very smart.
"My first graded stakes (win) in the United States," he stated. "I won 28 graded stakes in Venezuela."
Bred in Kentucky by Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton, and Silver Fern Farm, Distinta is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Miss Kitty. She has earned $299,715 in her 22 lifetime starts and has a record of 4-7-3.
Alter's Racing Stable's odds-on favorite Curlin's Approval never threatened and finished fifth under jockey Luis Saez.
"She was flat," Saez said. "She broke. She was trying, but she was flat and couldn't get there."