Gabby's Golden Gal Romps in Sunland Oaks
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 3/29/2009 9:13:03 PM
Last Updated: 6/10/2009 6:17:04 PM

Gabby's Golden Gal, trained by Bob Baffert, romped to a 13-length win with Victor Espinoza in the saddle in the $200,000 Sunland Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 29.

After prompting the early pace, the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro   took over after a quarter mile and was soon in command. She built a five-length lead in the stretch and was full of run in the lane, completing the 1 1/16-mile journey in a smart 1:43.31.

One for Jim finished second with John Velazquez, while even-money choice Century Park, also trained by Baffert, finished third, more than 14 lengths behind the winner. Century Park broke practically on her knees and raced near the back of the six-horse field for most of the trip, rallying in the stretch to get up for the show spot for jockey Garrett Gomez.

Quarter-mile fractions for the first six furlongs were :22.92, :47.55, and 1:12.23.

Owned and bred by Arnold Zetcher, Gabby's Golden Gal was making her stakes debut for Baffert. She broke her maiden in her second start Feb. 6 at Santa Anita Park and was coming off a runner-up finish in a first-level allowance race at seven furlongs. The Sunland Oaks was her first route try.

She earned $120,000 for the victory, bumping her career total to $162,360. Gabby's Golden Gal is out of the Ashkalani mare Gabriellina Giof.

Sent off as the fourth choice, she paid $13.20, $7.40, and $3.20. One for Jim, trained by Steve Asmussen, returned $6 and $2.80. The grade III winner Century Park was worth $2.10 to show. Hudler, the early pacesetter, finished fourth, followed by Oro Blanco and Mona Quita.



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