Arella Star Sharp in Return to Winning Form and Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – J Stables LLC’s Arella Star put a stressful trip to Del Mar behind her in emphatic fashion Sunday, returning to winning form and Gulfstream Park with a thoroughly dominating performance.
“I couldn’t wait to get her back here,” trainer Roderick Rodriguez said.
The 2-year-old daughter of Nyquist set a pressured pace while rating kindly for jockey Miguel Vasquez on the outside of Olga before taking full control on the turn into the homestretch and drawing away to capture Race 7, a six-furlong optional claiming allowance for juvenile fillies run over a sloppy track, by 5 ¼ lengths.
After graduating in similar fashion July 29 at Gulfstream Park, Arella Star was shipped west to run in the Sept. 10 Del Mar Oaks (G1). Unfortunately, the Kentucky-bred filly didn’t settle in at Del Mar as well as her trainer had expected, opening a cut on her forehead while rearing in her stall a few days before the race and then acting up in the starting gate before the Grade 1 race, in which she set the pace for a half-mile before fading to seventh.
“That’s why she ran so bad,” Rodriguez said. “I have high hopes for her – that’s why we went to Del Mar.”
Arella Star, the 6-5 favorite in a field of seven, ran six furlongs in 1:11.68. One of One got up to edge pace-presser Olga by 1 ¼ lengths for second.
Rodriguez, who noted that stakes winner Blind Spot had finished second in Arella Star’s impressive maiden victory, and J Stables LLC will ‘will look at our options with her.”
“She’s going to go farther. The farther the better when she doesn’t need to be pressured,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what impressed me today – that she was pressured and had something left at the end.”
Race 7 was the first to three consecutive optional claiming allowance races on Sunday’s 10-race card.
In Race 8, a five-furlong dash for fillies and mares on Tapeta, Leonel Reyes, who guided Admiral Hopper to victory to starts back, returned to the saddle and the winner’s circle Sunday with Krista and Edward Seltzer’s homebred daughter of Field Commission. Admiral Hopper rated off the pace while saving ground before slipping through along the rail to out-nod Lionessofbrittany for the victory. Admiral Hopper ($8.20) ran five furlongs on Tapeta in 55.99 seconds to score by a neck over Lionessofbrittany, who finished three-quarters of a length ahead of favored Miss Sakamoto.
Claimed for $62,500 out of a Sept. 14 optional claiming race at Kentucky Downs, Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Summer Assault ($14.40) nosed out Big Dreaming in Race 9, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up on Tapeta. The Michael Maker trainee ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.15 after making a far-outside stretch drive under Samy Camacho.
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the second day following a jackpot hit worth $47,591.24 Friday. There will be a $25,186.11 carryover heading into Friday’s Rainbow 6 wagering. There will also be a $2,759.95 Super Hi-5 carryover for Race 1 Friday.