HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Team Valor International’s Capla Temptress displayed a mesmerizing rally in the stretch to take Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 My Charmer Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking well from post 8 under Joel Rosario at 4/1 odds, Capla Temptress soon slid over toward the inside while racing in mid-pack. On the front end, Cherry Lodge posted opening fractions of :23.86, :48.28, and 1:13.58. Shortly after entering the far turn, Capla Temptress began weavig through traffic with tremendous grace and ease, then hit the top of the stretch running four-wide. Finding her best strides once she straightened for home, the Bill Mott trainee surged past new leader La Moneda and drew off late to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:39.08 over a turf course rated good.
“It was a good trip,” Rosario said. “She broke well, and on the backside, she was there for me. I was only waiting to have some clear run at the end. The track was a little soft, but it seemed in good shape, so I was very happy. She’s a runner. She just likes to run.”
Outkicked late, the 2/1 favorite La Moneda still dug in to hold second by a length over a strong-finishing Special Event. Fourth went to Bellavais, who was poised for a strong stretch run home along the rail but flattened in mid-stretch. Lafta nosed out Valentine Wish for fifth, with Conquest Hardcandy just a 1/2-length back in seventh. Kylla Instinct was a nose and a neck ahead of Dixie Moon and a spent Cherry Lodge for eighth, while Artesian, Pas de Soucis, Josdesanimaux, and Corps de Ballet completed the order of finish. I’m Betty G (trainer) and Miss Deplorable (also-eligible) were scratched.
Capla Temptress’ win was her first since taking the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes on September 17, 2017, which was also her most recent start at a distance of 8 furlongs or fewer. The Irish-bred 3-year-old daughter of Lope de Vega improved her career record to 11-4-1-1 with earnings of $343,876.
“She’s been in Kentucky for a little bit and ran a credible race over at Keeneland,” said assistant trainer Kenny McCarthy. “We then sent her down here and had a little time prior to this race. I think Bill was pretty confident today going in. A little worried initially when the rain hit, worried about what kind of ground she really likes, but at the same, we felt like this turf course is in such great condition, we’d take a shot with her.”
Capla Temptress returned $10 to win, $4.80 to place, and $4.20 to show. La Moneda brought back $3.60 to place and $3.80 to show, while Special Event paid $5.80 to show.