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Ocean Road Delivers MAJOR Score | 2022 Gamely Stakes Replay & Reaction
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Ocean Road Delivers MAJOR Score | 2022 Gamely Stakes Replay & Reaction

The Racing Dudes react to Ocean Road winning the 2022 Gamely Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park. JOIN the replay watch-along to get the Racing Dudes’ INSTANT reactions, then give YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The track press release:

Last to the quarter pole, the Brendan Walsh-trained Ocean Road, in her third North American start, unfurled an impressive turn of foot the final three sixteenths of a mile to win Monday’s Grade I, $400,000 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita by a half length under Umberto Rispoli while getting a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:46.66.

Last while in-hand behind five rivals in the run to the first turn, Ocean Road began to inch forward leaving the half mile, but was still last, about 2 ½ lengths behind Canoodling and Going to Vegas approaching the quarter pole.  At that point, Rispoli angled out four-deep and Ocean Road went on to overtake Going to Vegas and Irad Ortiz, Jr. close home in a big effort.

“I think there’s some more improvement in her and I can’t see why she wouldn’t keep going forward,” said Walsh, who is based in Kentucky and flew in earlier today from Lexington.  “Umberto had her in a nice spot and he was able to creep in a little closer going to the (far) turn.  There were a couple nice fillies in this race and we knew we weren’t going to get by them too easy.  She showed a nice kick and it’s always good to see that from a horse coming over here to run in this country.

“The guys that came out with her here to Santa Anita have been telling me all week how good she’s been doing, that she’s just blossomed out here.  Today, she had a bit of a swagger about her.  I knew she was going to run a good race, whether it was going to be good enough or not remained to be seen.

“I’ve been lucky here at Santa Anita.  I won a couple Breeders’ Cup marathons back when I first started out (in 2014 & 2016), so this makes three stakes here.”

A respectable sixth, beaten seven lengths with trouble in her U.S. debut, the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar Nov. 6, Ocean Road, in her first start for Walsh, took a first condition allowance going a mile and one eighth on turf by a nose at Keeneland on April 15.  Off at 5-1 with Rispoli up for the first time today, she paid $12.20, $5.40 and $2.60.

“It’s very special,” said Rispoli, who despite relocating in early April to Kentucky, opted to return to Santa Anita recently.  “Sheikh Fahad (owner, Qatar Racing) always was a big supporter of mine when I was in France and even overseas a couple of times, he came to run in Hong Kong with a couple of horses and I was always pleased to wear his colors…Coming back and having a Grade I win here (at Santa Anita)…makes me very happy.”

Owned by Qatar Racing, Ocean Road, a 4-year-old filly, got her first Grade I win today, thus improving her overall mark to 8-3-1-2.  With the winner’s share of $240,000, she increased her bankroll to $351,772.

Going to Vegas, who put away longshot Canoodling turning for home and repelled a stout challenge from Going Global in deep stretch, finished second by one length and paid $4.00 and $2.20 while off at 2-1.

One of three Irish-breds in the race, Going Global was the 4-5 favorite with Flavien Prat and finished one length clear of Canoodling with no apparent excuses, returning $2.10 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.49, 47.81, 1:11.65 and 1:35.11.