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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gainesway Stable and Andrew Rosen’s Pink Sands finally broke through for her first graded score in her fifth attempt when she made a strong move in mid-stretch to win Saturday’s $100,000 Rampart Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 4 under Jose Ortiz at 9/2 odds, Pink Sands lingered at the rear and watched as the sprinter-laden field shot out ahead. Leading the charge was the 9/5 favorite Cookie Dough, who posted opening fractions of :23.47, :45.72, and 1:10.27.
Tipping out to run widest of all by the top of the stretch, Pink Sands began grinding away as she slowly passed her foes. Getting up in the shadow of the wire, Pink Sands surpassed Cookie Dough in the final jumps to win by a 1/2-length. The Shug McGaughey trainee completed the mile-long event over the fast main track in a final time of 1:36.20.
“We were hoping speed develop in front of us and she would close,” Ortiz said. “It was really tough to get by Cookie Dough, she’s a really nice filly. I was a little worried because when (Pink Sands) gets going, I don’t want to stop her. She likes the track a lot, too.”
Despite being worn down late, Cookie Dough finished 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Cairenn in third. Baccarat Fashion weakened to fourth by a neck over Unholy Alliance after closely stalking Cookie Dough’s early pace.
Tweeting took sixth over Perspire, while behind them came Bella Ciao, Molto Bella, and an eased Shamrock Babe to complete the order of finish. Viva Forever was scratched.
Pink Sands’ win was her second at the stakes level, having won the Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park while wearing blinkers for the first time. The 4-year-old daughter of Gainesway’s leading sire Tapit improved her record to 17-5-3-4 with $352,980 earned.
“She kind of went through her conditions here last year, so we felt like when we brought her back down here that she does like the track and she’s had a little bit of an opportunity,” McGaughey said. “I took her to Churchill (Downs for the Locust Grove Stakes [G2]); it was a bad move on my part. She ran bad, we gave her a little time and brought her back at the end of October, and the last race was a decent race. We had this in our mind after that, and it worked out well. She likes it here, it was a mile and (we were) trying to win a graded stake with her.”
Pink Sands returned $11 to win, $5.20 to place, and $3.20 to show. Cookie Dough brought back $3.80 to place and $2.80 to show, while Cairenn paid $4.60 to show.
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