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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Heider Family Stables’ Zofelle rallied three-wide to the lead near the 1/8 pole and zoomed off to win Saturday’s $125,000 Marshua’s River Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Zofelle broke from post 3 under Tyler Gaffalione as the 5/2 favorite and settled along the rail well off the pace heading into the clubhouse turn. Our Bay B Ruth set opening fractions of :23.18 and :46.12 while Vigilantes Way and Sweet Bye and Bye applied pressure from the outside.
Vigilantes Way ranged up under her own power midway through the far turn and straightened out on the lead, but Zofelle was coming with a three-wide push off the far turn that sent her to the front with a furlong to go.
While everyone else chased in vain, the Brendan Walsh trainee strolled across the wire 2 lengths the best, completing the firm turf mile route in 1:32.43.
“It seems like it has been tough to close on the outer course today, so we didn’t want to be too far away,” Walsh said. “She traveled around there really nice, and when he asked her, she picked up instantly. We can’t ask for more than that.”
Though unable to keep within range of the winner, Sweet Bye and Bye took second by 3/4 of a length over Belle Laura, while Tuned and Vigilantes Way were close behind in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Evil Lyn, Niko’s Dream, Great Sister Diane, Our Bay B Ruth, and Lovely La La completed the order of finish.
Zofelle’s win was her first at the graded stakes level and improved her overall record to 15-5-2-2. The Irish-bred 5-year-old Zoffany mare, purchased in July 2019 for $35,330 and sent to America, has now earned $228,544.
“I rode her in her first start in America and she settled real well that day and gave a really serious run down the stretch,” Gaffalione said. “I was trying to do the same thing. Coming off the layoff, I didn’t want to rush her. I just let her settle and she picked up her feet as she went and she finished up nicely.”
Zofelle returned $7.60 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.20 to show. Sweet Bye and Bye brought back $5 to place and $3.60 to show, while Belle Laura paid $5.60 to show.
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