Gainesway Stable and Andrew Rosen's Pink Sands rallied from last to score her first graded-stakes victory in Saturday's $100,000 Rampart (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the 4-year-old daughter of Tapit claimed her third victory in four starts over the Gulfstream Park track in the one-turn mile stakes for fillies and mares.
The Rampart was one of five stakes on Saturday's 11-race card that also featured the $100,000 Harlan's Holiday (G3), $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2), $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) and $100,000 My Charmer. The Harlan's Holiday and Fort Lauderdale are preps for the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series at Gulfstream Jan. 25.
Pink Sands ($11) dropped far off the pace under Jose Ortiz and Cookie Dough, the 9-5 favorite ridden by Paco Lopez, showed the way along the backstretch while posting fractions of 23.47 and 45.72 seconds for the first half-mile, during which she was stalked by Baccarat Fashion. The Stanley Gold-trained Cookie Dough continued to show the way on the turn into the homestretch with a clear lead. Pink Sands, who launched her drive on the far turn, swung extremely wide into the stretch and finished with a flurry to catch the favorite at the wire.
Pink Sands, who turned in back-to-back victories before finishing fourth in the Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream last season, ran a mile in 1:36.20 to win her fifth race and second stakes from 17 starts.
Cookie Dough, who won the $200,000 Susan's Girl and $400,000 My Dear Girl Florida Sire Stakes divisions last year at Gulfstream, finished ahead of third-place finisher Cairenn while making her first start since August.
Rampart (G3) Quotes
Trainer Shug McGaughey (Pink Sands): “That's the way she wants to run, and Jose [Ortiz] knows how to ride her. The 23 [-second first quarter] worried me a little bit but the 45 [second half] I thought might be fast enough. She's going to go wide, that's her deal, and when she kicks like that and she gets a little bit of a chance, she's tough. I think she likes this racetrack. We're happy today.
“She kind of went through her conditions here last year so we felt like when we brought her back down here that she does like the track and she's had a little bit of an opportunity. I took her to Churchill; it was a bad move on my part. She ran bad, we gave her a little time and brought her back at the end of October and the last race was a decent race. We had this in our mind after that, and it worked out well. She likes it here, it was a mile and [we were] trying to win a graded-stake with her.
“We'll have to sit down and look at what's next. There's the [G2, $200,000] Inside Information [Jan. 25] and we'd probably get some gas going seven-eighths so it's possible but we'll just have to wait and see.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz (Pink Sands): “We were hoping speed develop in front of us and she would close. It was really tough to get by Cookie Dough, she's a really nice filly. I was a little worried because when she gets going I don't want to stop her. She likes the track a lot, too.”
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