Last Leaf Set to Take on Boys Again in Roar
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A five-furlong turf specialist, Monarch Stables Inc.’s Last Leaf will bring her proven record against the boys in Saturday’s $75,000 Roar Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The daughter of Not This Time, who defeated colts in the Sept. 25 Hollywood Beach Stakes at five furlongs on turf, is prominent in the six-horse field for the Roar, a five-furlong turf dash for 3-year-olds following her recent impressive triumph over fillies in the Melody of Colors at five furlongs on turf.
As effective she has been in turf sprints, Last Leaf has also shown versatility during her 11-race career that includes a front-running maiden-breaking victory at 5 ½ furlongs on dirt in her second start June 12. Two starts later, she captured a six-furlong allowance on the main track by 10 ¾ lengths before beating the boys in her turf debut in the Hollywood Beach.
Last Leaf had gone winless in 2022 prior to her Melody of Colors victory, but the Kentucky-bred filly offered thoroughly respectable performances in the Wait a While and Herecomesthebride (G3) around two turns on turf; the Limehouse while facing boys again at six furlongs on dirt; and the seven-furlong Forward Gal (G3), in which she earned graded stakes-place credentials on dirt with a third-place finish.
“I’ve always thought she was a better sprinter, but we did try her in routes a couple times because we wanted to try for some graded stuff,” trainer Ron Spatz said. “She does seem to be a better sprinter, so we decided after the last time she ran to keep her going short.”
While she won the Hollywood Beach in front-running fashion, she captured the Melody Colors while closing from seventh with an eye-catching stretch surge.
“She has kind of developed a new style. When she was younger, she was pretty speedy, whereas the last couple times she’s run, for whatever reason, she’s settled back on her own,” Spatz said. “She’s very versatile.”
Regular rider Miguel Vasquez has the mount.
Stud La Ley LLC’s Capture the Time, a gelded son of Uncaptured, is scheduled to seek his third-straight victory in his stakes debut in the Roar. The Rey Yanez trainee broke his maiden in his fifth career start following a second-place finish in his turf debut. The Florida-bred gelding came right back to register a front-running a victory in a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on turf April 24.
Leonel Reyes has the return call aboard Capture the Time.
Linda Shanahan and partners’ No Nay Franklin, a troubled fifth in the Palisades at Keeneland following a maiden-breaking victory at Gulfstream; Super Super Stable’s King of Truth, a mile allowance winner on turf prior to a ninth-place finish in the Curlin Florida Derby (G1); Euro Stable’s Always Gambling, a recent optional claiming allowance winner one race after being claiming for $50,000; and JFG Thoroughbreds and Maritza Weston’s Classicstateofmind, who finished sixth in the Palisades after winning a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on turf; are also entered in the Roar.