Crimson Advocate Romps to Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies Win
Gives Trainer George Weaver a Sweep of Royal Ascot Qualifiers
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Crimson Advocate seized complete command of the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies on her way to giving trainer George Weaver a sweep of the two Royal Ascot qualifying stakes on Saturday’s 10-race program at Gulfstream Park.
The Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies, a five-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-olds fillies, co-headlined Saturday’s 10-program with the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile, a five-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-olds won earlier by Weaver-trained No Nay Mets. Each race will provide its winner with an automatic berth into one of six stakes during the June 20-24 Royal Ascot meeting, as well as a $25,000 equine travel stipend for shipping from the U.S. to England, in addition to the winner’s share of the purse.
Crimson Advocate, owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Swinbank Stables, Black Type Thoroughbreds, RAP Racing, Chris Mara, BlackRidge Stables LLC and Amy Dunne, broke alertly from the starting gate under jockey Edwin Gonzalez to open an early lead that she would never relinquish. Ocean Mermaid, the 3-5 favorite who is trained by 12-time Royal Ascot winner Wesley Ward, was closest in pursuit of the pacesetter throughout the race and finished second, 3 ½ lengths behind the winning 7-2 second choice and 5 ¾ lengths ahead of third-place finisher The Myth.
Crimson Advocate, who finished third in her April 26 debut at Keeneland, was equipped with blinkers for her return in the Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies.
“We really liked her going into the race up there. I expected her to be on the lead or close to it, but she was green. We put some blinkers on her today and she broke sharp and looked good the whole way,” said Weaver.
The daughter of Nyquist ran five furlongs over a firm turf in 56.25 seconds after setting fractions of 21.83 and 44.42 seconds for the first half mile, earning the privilege of accompanying stablemate No Nay Mets to Royal Ascot.
“I always said after I went to Ascot the first time it would be nice to go back with someone who has a chance to win and both of these horses look like they do,” Weaver said. “They have that early speed. I do need to look at the menu before picking out a race although I’d like to keep both of them at 5/8's if we can."
In order to sweep the Royal Ascot qualifying stakes, Weaver had to go through Ward, the first U.S. trainer to saddle a winner at the Royal Ascot meet during which he has enjoyed incredible success over the years.
"You’re always worried about Wesley. He’s a master of doing this and going to Ascot. You just got to have the right horses,” Weaver said. “Both my horses broke running and got the advantage right away, followed through, and looked good doing it."