HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Second in the inaugural running a year ago, trainer Eddie Kenneally’s Girls Know Best successfully took the field gate to wire in Saturday’s $100,000 Abundantia Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking well from post 12 under Jose Ortiz as the 3/1 co-favorite, Girls Know Best outhustled the rail-breaking co-favorite Morticia to take command and post opening 1/4-mile in :21.26 while Smiling Causeway rode just off of her right hip. Emerging onto the front stretch full of run, Girls Know Best dug in and fended off a late charge from Morticia before crossing the wire with a 1 1/4-length advantage in a final time of :55.20 for the 5-furlong sprint over the firm turf course.
“She’s a very fast filly,” said Kenneally, who also co-owns with Triton Stable and Brian Chenvert. “She likes it here. She finished second in this race last year and she won a stake in January, as well, so she likes this turf course. “She ran a good race and Jose rode her perfectly.”
Unable to keep up in the stretch run, Smiling Causeway faded to third, while behind her, Just Talkin took fourth by a nostril over Miz Mayhem. Sixth went to Fire Key, who missed the break and was several lengths behind from the get-go, while Conquest Tizfire was just a nose behind her in seventh. Miss O’Hara, Unaquoi, Miss Deplorable, Goldwood, Code Warrior, Rumble Doll, and Snack Shack completed the order of finish. Lady’s Island was a Main Track Only entry, while Coastal Sea was unable to draw into the full field of 14.
Girls Know Best’s win was her fifth of the year, including the $100,000 The Very One Stakes at Pimlico on May 19, and improved her career record to 21-11-3-1. The 4-year-old daughter of Caleb’s Posse increased her career bankroll to $466,944.
Girls Know Best returned $8 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.40 to show. Morticia brought back $4.20 to place and $3.20 to show, while Smiling Causeway paid $4.80 to show.