Michael Dubb's Samara ($7.20) was the beneficiary of a ground-saving trip under Nik Juarez on her way to a mild upset victory over odds-on favorite Morticia in the $75,000 Captiva Island Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The Captiva Island, a five-furlong turf for older fillies and mares, co-headlined Saturday's 13-race program with the $75,000 Silks Run, a five-furlong turf dash for older horses won by Imprimis.
Samara rated behind the pacesetting Morticia, who showed the way into the stretch and continued on gamely to the wire, only to fall short of her bid for a front-running victory by a neck to the late-charging Jason Servis trainee.
Samara ran five furlongs over a firm course in 55.60 seconds to win her third straight race.
“It was a very good day. She did break a little bit slow today. I won the last two on her and I'm very confident with her being off the pace. When she did break slow, I saw how fast [Morticia] was going and [jockey] Paco [Lopez] was laying just outside her [on Misericordia], I said this is going to be a garden setup,” said Juarez after riding his third winner on Saturday's card. “So, I just sat there patient and waited for the seam to open. Paco was using his horse so much that by the time they got to the head of the lane, he tired and gave me a little bit of space, and she was much the best.”
Graded-stakes winner Morticia held second under Emisael Jaramillo, three-quarters of a length ahead of Goldwood.
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