Pretty Prolific rallied from far back and got up in the final jump to win a thrilling three-way photo finish in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (gr. III) (VIDEO) Jan. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
It was the first stakes win for the 4-year-old daughter of Lion Heart, who was making her Florida debut and was ridden for the first time by Edgar Prado. The chestnut filly is owned by Tom Walters and trained by James Baker.
It took the length of the stretch for Pretty Prolific to run down slight favorite Tar Heel Mom, who took over from pacesetter Bold Union nearing the quarter-pole and carried a clear lead into the stretch. Tar Heel Mom, under Jose Lezcano, was game throughout the final furlong but in deep stretch was being tackled by Warbling, who had tracked the pace with Julien Leparoux aboard and drew even with the leader with only a few yards remaining.
But Pretty Prolific, who was last after a quarter-mile and swung wide for her stretch run, came roaring on the outside to catch her two rivals just as they hit the wire. The three hit the finish line together, with Pretty Prolific getting up by a head and Warbling nosing out Tar Heel Mom for place. The final time for six furlongs over a sloppy, sealed track was 1:10.75.
"The race was run just like the way it looked on paper," said Prado. "There were a lot of horses with speed in the race, and the track is sloppy, so everyone was going to come out of the gate running and try not to get too much mud in their faces. I was happy to see that my horse broke good, but then got outrun the first part of the race. I was able to save all the ground on the turn. And she had a nice kick at the end.”
Pretty Prolific was making her first start since Oct. 24 when she finished fourth in the Raven Run (gr. II) on the Keeneland Polytrack. She raced five times as a 3-year-old, winning once—an allowance score at Churchill Downs. She was also runner-up in the grade I Test Stakes at Saratoga in 2009.
Now with a 3-3-1 record from 11 starts, Pretty Prolific has earned $237,949. She was bred in Kentucky by Paget Bloodstock out of the Seattle Slew mare Seattle Way.
“The pace set it up for her and (Prado) gave her a great ride," Baker said. "The owner bought her privately as a weanling and she’s been a good filly from the start. As long as she’s healthy, she’ll come back in the races at 6 1/2 (furlongs) and seven-eighths (Feb. 13 Hurricane Bertie and March 14 Inside Information). This is a nice way to start the season.”
The winner paid $13.60, $5.80, and $3.60. Warbling completed an exacta (9-3) worth $80, while the $1 trifecta (9-3-4) paid $171.90.
Honchis‘n Ponchis was fourth, followed by Sailing Time, D’wild Ride, Saratoga Tango, Thunders Dove, and Bold Union.