Team Valor International's Capla Temptress was never in doubt during Saturday's Grade 3 My Charmer Stakes at Gulfstream Park, rating about mid-pack and surging to the lead in the stretch for a two-length victory. The 3-year-old daughter of Lope de Vega, ridden by Joel Rosario for trainer Bill Mott, covered a mile over the good turf course in 1:39.08 for her first win of 2018.
“It was a good trip,” Rosario said. “She broke well and on the backside she was there for me. I was only waiting to have some clear run at the end. The track was a little soft but it seemed in good shape so I was very happy. She's a runner. She just likes to run.”
The 34th running of the one-mile My Charmer for fillies and mares 3 and up over the newly refurbished turf course was the third of five graded-stakes worth $600,000 in purses on an 11-race program.
Capla Temptress ($10) won for the first time in eight starts since taking the Natalma (G1) in September 2017 at Woodbine. La Moneda, the stakes-winning New York-bred with four wins in her last five starts, was second at 2-1 with Special Event another length in third. The winning time was 1:39.08 over a turf course rated good.
Ridden by Joel Rosario for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Capla Temptress settled in mid-pack as Cherry Lodge went the opening quarter-mile in 23.86 seconds and the half in 48.28 chased by Pas de Soucis with Cherry Lodge's Todd Pletcher-trained stablemate Bellavais leading the second flight and La Moneda kept in the clear four wide.
La Moneda closed in on the leaders around the turn and took over while Rosario followed, weaving his way through traffic before tipping outside for a clear run and powering through the stretch for her fourth career win.
Capla Temptress was winless in five tries this year, most recently finishing fifth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Oct. 13 at Keeneland. She also ran second in the Lake Placid (G2) Aug. 18 at Saratoga.
Assistant trainer Kenny McCarthy (Capla Temptress): “She's been in Kentucky for a little bit and ran a credible race over at Keeneland. We then sent her down here and had a little time prior to this race. I think Bill was pretty confident today going in. A little worried initially when the rain hit, worried about what kind of ground she really likes, but at the same we felt like this turf course is in such great condition we'd take a shot with her.
“She's run on soft turf before and we probably haven't seen her best over it, but she always tries really hard. Super trip, I thought Joel gave her a beautiful ride. She's a small little filly, so I think the big thing is don't get in any fights with her and don't get too cute with her, just keep it simple with her and I think he did that with her today. He positioned her on the backside and when he called on her, she had something to give him.”
Bred in Ireland by Pier House Stud, Capla Temptress was a $29,263 yearling at Goffs. She began her career in Europe, placing in group company, then captured the G1 Natalma at Woodbine as a juvenile. Transferred to the United States in June of 2018, she struggled to find the winner's circle, but a slight class drop solved that problem. Overall, Capla Temptress' record stands at 4-1-1 from 11 starts for earnings of nearly $350,000.
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