HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Figarella’s Queen scored big on Saturday while also giving jockey Luis Saez his record-breaking 133rd win of the meet in the $150,000 Sanibel Island Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 2, Figarella’s Queen moved right to the front and maintained a small lead along the inside through slower initial splits of :24.29 and :48.48. Met with pressure off the far turn, Figarella’s Queen dug in and battled back to maintain control up front over Got Stormy. The Gustavo Delgado trainee battled gamely to the wire, just outlasting a furiously-rallying Ferdinanda by a nose in a final time of 1:34.95 for the mile-long turf event.
“It was tight but I had the feeling like we got it,” Saez said. “I took her away from the pony and tried to let her warm up good. I was thinking, ‘Break good and be in front and try to settle down,’ and everything worked out so well.”
Got Stormy had to settle for third by a 1/2-length after being unable to hold off the frantic Ferdinanda. The 2-1 favorite Best Performance was making a similar late move but ran out of track and finished a length behind in fourth. Amertume was a neck back in fifth, with Tocame Linda, Originator, and Unstablenthemornin completing the order of finish.
Figarella’s Queen improved her record to 4-2-1-1 with career earnings of $115,815. The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro was making her stakes debut following a similar wire-to-wire maiden-breaker last out over this same course and distance.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Saez, who broke the record that the Hall of Famer Javier Castellano set in the 2013-14 meet. “I feel so glad. We were working pretty hard and thank God we got this. Hopefully, we keep doing well.”
Figarella’s Queen returned $19 to win, $9.80 to place, and $6.40 to show. Ferdinanda brought back $12 to place and $6.40 to show, while Got Stormy paid $4.40 to show.