Upstarts win Rampart, Palm Beach at Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Trainer Bill White has been dying to run D'Wildcat Speed 1 1/8 miles since the 2003 Puerto Rican champion arrived in his barn last winter. It took a year but D'Wildcat Speed made the most of the opportunity when it finally presented itself by drawing away to a convincing six- length victory over 3-5 favorite Isola Piu Bella in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream Park.
D'Wildcat Speed contested the early pace while racing inside Pampered Princess, readily disposed of her entering the stretch, then pulled away from Isola Piu Bella to earn her second victory in six starts since coming to this country.
Isola Piu Bella, an easy winner of the Grade 3 Sabin Handicap four weeks earlier, raced well-placed behind the embattled leaders but struggled just to outfinish Pampered Princess by a half-length to be second in a field of five fillies and mares.
D'Wildcat Speed ($7.80), a homebred owned by P.R. Speed Inc., covered the nine furlongs in 1:48.92 over a fast track.
"She finally got to run today at a distance she was most successful at in Puerto Rico," said White. "Unfortunately, I never had a chance prior to this race to run her at this distance because of soundness issues, but today she was finally able to show everybody what she's all about."
D'Wildcat Speed won 14 straight races, including four Group 1 stakes, after losing her career debut in Puerto Rico. She was named both the 3-year-old champion and Horse of the Year in Puerto Rico in 2003.
"I feel she is a horse of quality and we'll look to put her on a national campaign," said White. "This is definitely a filly who can and will travel."
White mentioned Hawthorne's Grade 3, $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap on April 23 as a possible option for D'Wildcat Speed's next start.
Eibar Coa, who rode Isola Piu Bella in the absence of regular jockey John Velazquez, offered little excuse for the favorite.
"My filly didn't run a bad race," said Coa. "The filly that won just ran so much better than everybody else. She was just too good today."
Palm Beach: 38-1 bomb connects
Interpatation, the longest price in the field, ran down 3-5 favorite Tadreeb in the final stride to upset the $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes on the turf. He paid $79.20.
Interpatation was winless coming into the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 3 Palm Beach. The 3-year-old Interpatation had only one horse beat turning into the stretch but finished full of run down the middle of the track to catch the pacesetting Tadreeb right on the wire by a nose. Fishy Advice finished another half-length back in third.
Interpatation is trained by Robert Barbara for owner Elliot Mavorah and was ridden by jockey Tom Turner. He covered the distance in 1:47.12.