HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Tango Uniform Racing and The Elkstone Group’s Stormy Victoria sat well off the pace early, but the French-bred mare came storming home strongly to take Saturday’s $125,000 South Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Knocked around after breaking from post 9 under Joel Rosario, Stormy Victoria took back along the rail while Conquest Hardcandy set opening splits of :23.39 and :46.91. Still at the rear entering the far turn, Rosario swung Stormy Victoria five-wide and hit the top of the stretch full of speed. The Christophe Clement trainee proceeded to pick off several foes before finishing with a flourish, hitting the wire first by 3/4 of a length in a final time of 1:29.03 for the 7 1/2-furlong turf sprint.
Stormy Victoria’s stablemate, the favored Celestine, led for a brief moment in midstretch before being overtaken and settling for second. I’m Betty G finished 2 lengths back in third, outlasting the late-running Always Thinking by a nose. Conquest Hardcandy faded in the stretch to finish fifth ahead of Miss Hollywood, Westit, Storm the Hill, Perdona, Team of Teams, and Ghostly Presence. My Sistersledge was scratched.
A 6-year-old daughter of Stormy River, the win was the first stakes score for Stormy Victoria. Her career record now stands at 22-6-4-3 with career earnings of $431,215 that include her 2- and 3-year-old seasons in Europe.
Stormy Victoria returned $8.60 to win, $3.80 to place, and $3 to show. Celestine brought back $4.20 to place and $3.20 to show, while I’m Betty G paid $6 to show.