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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Blue Heaven Farm’s Starship Jubilee took the lead in the far turn and drew off convincingly to take Saturday’s $150,000 Suwannee River Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 6 under Luis Saez as the 6/5 second choice, Starship Jubilee settled into third while tracking from within range as the field entered the clubhouse turn. Up front, 40/1 longshot Kelsey’s Cross posted opening fractions of :22.60, :46.93, and 1:11.34 while Tapit Today chased from second.
As the field entered the far turn, Starship Jubilee ranged up three-wide and usurped command effortlessly. Straightening for home with a growing advantage, the Kevin Attard trainee was given a brisk hand ride before being geared down late.
Crossing the wire 4 1/4 lengths the best, Starship Jubilee completed the 1 1/8-mile event over the firm turf course in a final time of 1:47.54.
“What a perfect trip,” Saez said. “I knew they’re going to send someone to kill the speed. Everything was so perfect. She was great. When I hit the stretch, I had plenty of horse. She is pretty easy to ride.”
The Chad Brown-trained pair of Magic Star (the even-money favorite) and Tapit Today finished second and third, respectively, with only a neck separating them. Smart Shot, Kelsey’s Cross, and Great Sister Diane completed the order of finish. Vow to Recover was scratched.
Starship Jubilee’s win was her fourth in her past five starts, with her lone loss in that period coming as a second in November’s Cardinal Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. The Florida-bred 7-year-old daughter of Indy Wind improved her career record to 34-16-5-3 with $1,353,667 earned.
“She just keeps getting better,” Attard said. “Today, I was a little worried with Magic Star. She looks like a good up-and-coming filly. I knew we’d have to have our running shoes on to beat her, but the trip worked out really well. Saez gave her a great trip. I know Magic Star got kind of trapped inside there and lost a little momentum, but my filly kicked on and she accelerated down the lane. She just proved she’s one of the top turf fillies in the country right now.”
Starship Jubilee returned $4.40 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Magic Star brought back $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show, while Tapit Today paid $2.20 to show.
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