With a strong move to the lead in the stretch at Maronas Racetrack, Roman Rosso won the $500,000 Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano (G1) March 11. The winner, a two-time group 1 winner in Argentina, covered the 2,000 meters (1 1/4 miles) in 2:02.05, showing grit and resolve in the three-furlong stretch.
The winning rider was Wilson Moreyra. Brazil's Leao De Prata finished second and Peru's Barbon was third.
The race took place over a fast main track at Maronas, which is slightly longer than 2,000 meters in circumference and has several chutes. The Latinoamericao is run around one turn.
Roman Rosso, a son of the late Roman Ruler out of Rose City, by City West, was bred in Argentina by Hector Villa's Haras Melincue. The owners, Luis and Sofia Pagella, and Sebastian Cepa, are relative newcomers to racing. The Pagellas purchased Roman Rosso as a weanling from the Melincue dispersal three years ago.
"Mr. Villa died, and we sold off his horses at the dispersal," said Dr. Miguel Comaleras, the former manager for Melincue.
"This is like the finish of a big, big job," Comaleras laughed after the rich win. "The strawberry on the top.
"This horse is Melincue 100%; first dam, second dam, third dam. This horse won the Nacional (G1). That is a big race, and now he made huge run here."
Broodmare sire City West is a full brother to top North American sire Candy Ride .
Roman Ruler (Fusaichi Pegagus—Silvery Swan, by Silver Deputy), who won the 2005 Haskell Invitational Handicap (G1), stood at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington and shuttled to Haras Vacacion in Argentina where he died due to laminitis at 15 in February 2017.
"It's a shame what happened to Roman Ruler," Comaleras said ."He's done very, very well in Argentina, and we had a 30% stake in him."
Trained by Jorge Mayansky, Roman Rosso has won five of eight starts. In his three starts prior to the Latinoamericano, he was runner up in the Jockey Club Provincia de Buenos Aires (G2) and won the Provincia de Buenos Aires (G1) at La Plata, then romped by six lengths in the 12-furlong Nacional Nov. 11.
The Latinoamericao is the richest race in South America and is perhaps the only grade/group 1 race that moves from country to country. Last year's event took place at the Valparaiso Sporting Club in Vina del Mar, Chile, and next year's running will be at Club Hipco in Santiago, Chile. This the second year the race has been run at Maronas (the first was 2006).
The purse is provided by Longines and OSAF (Organizacion Sudamericana de Fomento del Sangre Pura de Carrera).