Dorothy Alexander Matz's Tequilita, winless in seven starts this year, looks to regain her graded-stakes winning form at the site of her first such victory in the Grade 3 Rampart.
Trained by Michael Matz for his wife, who also bred the daughter of 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Union Rags, Tequilita won the Forward Gal (G2) and was second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in 2017, prior to finishing seventh in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and third in the Test (G1) before rebounding with a victory in the Charles Town Oaks (G3).
This year, Tequilita was third in the one-mile Ruffian (G2) in May and most recently second in the seven-furlong Pumpkin Pie Stakes Oct. 28, both at Belmont Park. She will break from Post 5 in a field of seven with two-time Championship Meet-leading rider Luis Saez up at co-topweight of 119 pounds.
Beau Ravine's Tapa Tapa Tapa also has graded-stakes experience, but is unraced since running sixth in the Doubledogdare (G3) April 20 at Keeneland. The Timothy Hamm trainee won the one-mile, 40-yard Suncoast Stakes last February at Tampa Bay Downs, and will have the services of Hall of Famer Javier Castellano from Post 3.
Looking for her first win since coming to the U.S. from France is D P Racing's Snirvana, who raced three times this summer and fall at Gulfstream with one second and was third in a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Gulfstream Park West Oct. 19 last time out. The Rampart will be her first race on dirt.
“She's a nice filly. She ran a couple of OK races on the turf but I think she works much better on the dirt so I think we are going to take a shot. I was supposed to run her on the dirt before but the race did not go so we have to go straight into the stake,” trainer Patrick Biancone said. “She had a little shoe issue when she arrived where she had to have some surgery but we took our time with her and she's coming into good form at the right time. She's a one-paced horse and most of the time they go better on the dirt than the turf.”
Apprentice Romero Ramsey Maragh has the call from Post 6.
Tweeting, second in the Shine Again Stakes Sept. 29 at Laurel Park in her first start for trainer Jorge Navarro; stablemate Breaking Bread, a second-level optional claiming winner Oct. 18 at Laurel; Owner Appreciation Distaff Stakes winner Inspeightofyou and Electric Forest complete the field.
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