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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Disqualification of the original victor Spanish Loveaffair kissed trainer Todd Pletcher’s Con Lima into winning Saturday’s $100,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Normally a front-runner, Con Lima and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. were squeezed back a bit after breaking from post 3 and rated just behind mid-pack as the 2/1 second choice. Mail Order outkicked Spanish Loveaffair, the 8/5 betting favorite, for the lead heading into the clubhouse turn and posted opening fractions of :23.80, :48.10, and 1:11.85.
Spanish Loveaffair tracked from the 2 path down the backstretch but shifted over to the rail entering the far turn, causing I Get It to clip heels and stumble, though she quickly recovered and resumed racing. Joy of Painting advanced two-wide while cornering and took the lead midway through, but Spanish Loveaffair tipped out three-wide near the top of the stretch and took the lead near the 1/8 pole.
Getting first run on the trailing Con Lima, Spanish Loveaffair drew off to complete the 1 1/16-mile firm turf route in 1:41.30, crossing 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Con Lima in second. Joy of Painting nosed out a re-rallying I Get It to complete the top four.
Following the race, the stewards held an inquiry into the incident between Spanish Loveaffair and I Get It. After a lengthy review, the stewards ruled that Spanish Loveaffair was responsible and disqualified her from victory, placing her fourth behind I Get It.
Tobys Heart, Mail Order, and Designer Ready completed the order of finish in the race restricted to 3-year-old fillies.
Con Lima’s win was her third in her past 4 starts, all on the local turf, with her lone defeat a narrow runner-up effort last time out in the Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3). The Texas-bred daughter of Commissioner’s record now stands at 8-4-4-0 with $214,495 earned for co-owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph Graffeo, Eric Del Toro, and Troy Johnson.
Con Lima returned $6 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.20 to show. Joy of Painting brought back $38 to place and $16.40 to show. I Get It paid $6.60 to show.
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