HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – It took every inch that she had, but Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing’s Elysea’s World finally broke through for her first career graded stakes score, necking out victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Unhurried from post 8 under Javier Castellano, Elysea’s World sat off while Midnight Crossing posted initial fractions of :24.61, :48.88, and 1:12.11. Swinging out four- and five-wide off of the far turn, Elysea’s World rallied steadily down the stretch and reined in stablemate Dream Awhile in the shadow of the wire in a final time of 1:47.75 for the 1 1/8-mile turf event.
“She’s a horse that likes to come from behind, but today, she was placed a little closer,” Castellano said. “I like the way she broke today and I put her in a good spot. Turning for home, I asked her, and she was rolling. She’s been a little unlucky lately in her last couple races, the way they unfolded. Today, she had a perfect trip.”
The Chad Brown-trained top two crossed a 1/2-length in front of Ultra Brat. The favored Kitten’s Roar was close for much of the race but was outkicked late and finished fourth. Westit necked out fifth over Flipcup, with Dream Dancing, Midnight Crossing, and Beauly completing the order of finish.
Elysea’s World improved her record to 17-4-5-2 with career earnings of $423,383. The 5-year-old daughter of Champs Elysees was winless in nine starts last year, all of them stakes races, including the 2017 edition of this event.
“It’s her last year of racing and she’s been so close, particularly last year,” Brown said. “She ran some terrific races in graded stakes and couldn’t win with tough trips and such. For her to win today, it meant a lot to her value.”
Elysea’s World returned $9.60 to win, $4.60 to place, and $3.40 to show. Dream Awhile brought back $6.60 to place and $5.60 to show, while Ultra Brat paid $5.40 to show.