HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Vince Campanella and Keith Nations’ Martini Glass finally scored her first career graded stakes victory, overtaking the favored Lewis Bay in mid-stretch before drawing off to win Monday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking well from post 4 under Paco Lopez, Martini Glass settled in mid-pack while Giulia, Lewis Bay, and Curlin’s Approval dueled on the front-end through opening marks of :24.01, :46.48, and 1:10.86. After beginning to move closer through the far turn, Martini Glass hit the top of the stretch in full stride and poked her head past Lewis Bay, then held on gamely to win by a length in a final time of 1:36.48 for the mile-long main track event.
“Her last two races, she didn’t break well, but today, she got a perfect trip,” said Lopez, who was also aboard when Martini Glass finished second in the Via Borghese at Gulfstream on turf and third last out in the Grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic on dirt. “When I asked her, she gave me everything. She’s a very nice filly.”
Lewis Bay was well-clear in second, crossing 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Verve’s Tale in third. Unbridled Mo struggled to make a move on the front stretch after saving ground in the rear for much of the race and took fourth ahead of a fading Curlin’s Approval. Tapa Tapa Tapa, Surprise Wedding, and Giulia completed the order of finish.
Martini Glass returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since taking the Claiming Crown Tiara Stakes here at Gulfstream Park on December 2. The 5-year-old daughter of Kitalpha, claimed for $16,000 following a debut victory at Tampa Bay Downs on February 20, 2016, improved her record to 22-9-5-2 with career earnings of $653,675.
“We’d seen her train and liked the look of here,” said Nations, who also trains the Kentucky-bred mare. “Someone else was in on her, too, so we actually won the shake to get her. We do pretty well with the claims, but his time, we overachieved.”
Martini Glass returned $18.40 to win, $6 to place, and $4 to show. Lewis Bay brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Verve’s Tale paid $3.80 to show.