HALLANDALE BEACH, FL — Lady Shipman ($2.40) loomed as the heavy favorite in the $75,000 Ladies Turf Sprint at Gulfstream Park on Saturday and lived up to the billing.
Making her first start since Halloween, the daughter of Midshipman sparred for the early lead, but dismissed all challengers under a confident Irad Ortiz Jr. and recorded a popular 2 3/4-length victory. Longshot Katie’s Kiss rallied strongly on the outside to complete the $15 exacta, while second-choice Jewel of a Cat stayed on for third-place money.
Lady Shipman won seven of 10 starts last year and concluded her campaign with a close second against the boys in the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland on Halloween. She was an Eclipse Award finalist in the outstanding female sprinter category, and was widely expected to carry that form against her seven rivals in the Ladies Turf Sprint.
The 4-year-old filly was tested first by Dogwood Trail and then Jewel of a Cat, but had the lead through a :23.22 opening quarter and began to extend her advantage through the turn. Ortiz rode her out to the wire and Lady Shipman was timed in :58.14 for the five-furlong Ladies Turf Sprint.
“She broke out of there and she settled for me, and she did her own thing,” Ortiz said. “I let her be in the race and when I asked her, she was there. She was comfortable the whole way. I was waiting for the quarter pole, and she showed today she’s a nice filly. She did it easy. I didn’t ask too much of her. She came back from the layoff last time after the Breeders’ Cup with the colts and it was good to see her come back like that. Hopefully she stays healthy and sound.”
A homebred for Randall Lowe’s Ranlo Corporation, Lady Shipman began her career under the tutelage of trainer Kathleen O’Connell, but was transferred to Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn with an eye to traveling across the globe to the United Arab Emirates for the $1-million Al Quoz Sprint on March 26. McLaughlin, fresh off the plane from a whirlwind trip to Dubai this week, confirmed that he had no anxious moments during the brief time Lady Shipman was on the turf course.
“No, she made it look easy,” McLaughlin said. “She broke well and Irad always had plenty of filly under him, so it was a very nice comeback race. We’ve had her just over a month. We’re happy.”
The winner’s share of $45,105 took Lady Shipman’s bankroll to $583,905. Her lifetime record stands at 13-9-2-2.
Power Alert Remains Perfect at Gulfstream
Horse for the course Power Alert ($7.20) proved best once again facing a full field in the $75,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint on Saturday afternoon.
Away alertly from post 10, the Australian-bred gelding traveled smoothly under jockey Julien Leparoux and vied for the lead with favored Pure Sensation and Bold Thunder. He assumed command on the turn and opened a bit of daylight. Amelia’s Wild Ride and Night Officer gave furious chase down the lane, but Power Alert reached the wire first by a neck. He was timed in :57.74 for the five furlongs. Amelia’s Wild Ride was a head in front of Night Officer. Pure Sensation finished about three lengths back in fifth.
“He broke well and stayed in the clear, nice and easy on the outside,” Leparoux said. “When I got to the quarter pole I asked him to make a big run right away and he kept on going. At the end they were coming fast, but the wire was there so that was good. I was glad to see it.”
Brian Lynch, who trains and co-owns Power Alert with AJ Suited Racing Stable, brought Power Alert over from his native Australia after the gray gelding had a bleeding episode. Power Alert won his first two starts at Gulfstream, including the $75,000 Silks Run Stakes last March, and later scored in the $150,000 Churchill Turf Sprint (G3) in May. Lynch gave his charge some time off following a fourth-place finish in the $200,000 Parx Dash Handicap (G3) in July, and Power Alert returned to finish second in the $100,000 Turf Dash Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on January 9.
“He definitely likes Gulfstream and it’s nice to get him back on track,” Lynch said. “That was a pretty decent field today. We’ll give him a little bit of a breather now. He’s a bad bleeder and I try to dodge the heat and hot weather with him. I prefer winter and spring racing for him, and there’s enough of those races around for him to be effective.”
Power Alert, a son of the Argentine stallion Alert and the Australian mare Gold Locket, has now earned $349,874. The Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint was his eighth victory from 21 career outings.
Source: Gulfstream Park