Mexican star filly Jala Jala made history Saturday at Gulfstream Park, saving ground early before drawing off to an impressive 4 ¾-length triumph in the $100,000 Copa Confraternidad del Caribe.
The victory, coupled with her nine-length romp in the Clasico del Caribe last December, made Cuadra San Jorge's Jala Jala ($4.40) the first filly ever to sweep the Clasico Internacional del Caribe's premier races for 3-year-olds and older horses, beating males both times.
The 1 ¼-mile Copa Confraternidad for 3-year-olds and up was the fourth of five stakes worth more than $700,000 in purses as part of the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, Latin America and the Caribbean's premier Thoroughbred event hosted by Gulfstream for the second consecutive year.
Last year, Gulfstream became the first pari-mutuel facility outside Latin America or the Caribbean to host the Clasico Internacional del Caribe since its inception in 1966. Jala Jala is the second straight horse to win both the Clasico and Confraternidad in successive years, following Panamanian colt El Tigre Mono in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
It was the second Clasico win of the day for Puerto Rican jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., following Michegas' runaway victory in the Copa Invitacional three races earlier. The winning time was 2:08.46 over a fast main track.
“I think this is amazing, because she is the first filly to win these two races and especially in the form she won in,” winning trainer Fausto Gutierrez said. “She won very clear and made history for this race.”
Ortiz settled Jala Jala in fifth along the rail as Bold Master posted fractions of 24.38 and 49.95 seconds pressed by fellow Puerto Rican contender Exclusivo, a multiple group-stakes winner with 15 wins from 17 career starts. Exclusivo cruised past leaving the backstretch after going six furlongs in 1:15.08, but Jala Jala was creeping up the inside and into contention.
Tipped to the outside by Ortiz once clear of 2017 Clasico del Caribe runner-up Fray Angelico on the turn, Jala Jala met no resistance as she assumed the lead and straightened for home in front, pulling clear under a hand ride.
“She's a nice filly. She beat the boys both times,” Ortiz said. “She makes it look easy. She's so talented.”
Fray Angelico was a decisive second, 10 lengths ahead of Exclusivo. Puerto Rican Triple Crown winner Justiciero was fourth.
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