Don Robinson of Winter Quarter Farm

Don Robinson of Winter Quarter Farm

Anne M. Eberhardt

Robinson Expects Big Effort from Cambodia in Gallorette

Owner calls War Front mare "the best horse I've had in my lifetime."

Don Robinson has been in the Thoroughbred business his entire life, a fourth-generation horseman who owns Winter Quarter Farm near Lexington.

He's better known as a breeder than a racehorse owner, but the 69-year-old Robinson will be at Pimlico Race Course May 19 with his owner's cap on for Cambodia in the $150,000 Gallorette Stakes (G3T) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

"This is the best horse I've had in my lifetime," said Robinson, who figures he's had about three dozen starters since 2000. "She's been training great at Fair Hill. I know there will be some good ones in this field, but she's ready to show up and, hopefully, win this race again."

Cambodia, a 6-year-old homebred by War Front  out of the Smart Strike mare Sassifaction, won the Gallorette last year by two lengths. The victory launched a stellar 2017 campaign that saw her win the Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2T) and the John C. Mabee Stakes (G2T)—both at Del Mar—followed by a third in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1T). Cambodia earned $572,500 on the campaign from three wins and five thirds in nine starts for trainer Tom Proctor.

"She had an incredible year," Robinson said. "We're hopeful for this year."

Cambodia opened this season running sixth in the April 14 Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland following a layoff of nearly five months.

"I thought she ran a beautiful race," Robinson said. "I was very happy with her after coming off the rest."

Back to challenge Cambodia is Elysea's World, who ran third in the 2017 Gallorette for trainer Chad Brown. The 5-year-old mare owned by Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing comes into the race after a victory in the Feb. 10 Suwannee River Stakes (G3T) at Gulfstream Park. Elysea's World has earned $423,383 with a 4-5-2 record in 17 starts.

"She's coming off a graded stakes win, which she very much deserved. She had been knocking on the door for quite a while," said Brown. "We just freshened her up after that race, and we've been pointing to this race. This looks like the right type of race for her. Hopefully, she can build off her breakthrough win last time and get on a good roll of winning several graded stakes for us."

Alex G. Campbell Jr.'s Ultra Brat ran 10th in the Jenny Wiley after finishing third behind Elysea's World in the Suwannee River. Trainer Graham Motion said the 5-year-old mare by Uncle Mo  is "consistent and competitive."

"I threw her in the deep end a little bit last time in the grade 1," he added. "She didn't have a great trip. She was quite wide that day. She has done well since, and this seems like a logical spot for her. Hopefully, we can get her back on track on Saturday."

Entries: Gallorette S. (G3T)

Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 19, 2018, Race 9

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1 1/16m
  • Turf
  • $150,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 3:25 PM (local)
11Lake Ponchatrain (OK)Keeneland Sales GraduateArnaldo Bocachica118Ernest M. Haynes30/1
22Brooks House (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRicardo Santana, Jr.118Steven M. Asmussen12/1
33Ultra Brat (KY)Jose L. Ortiz122H. Graham Motion5/1
44Stallion Heiress (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlorent Geroux118Michael Stidham10/1
55Cambodia (KY)Julien R. Leparoux118Thomas F. Proctor8/5
66Blessed Silence (FR)Irad Ortiz, Jr.118Christophe Clement12/1
77Special Event (KY)Jorge A. Vargas, Jr.118Claude R. McGaughey III15/1
88Elysea's World (IRE)Javier Castellano122Chad C. Brown9/5