Spatz Has Options Covered in Saturday’s Martha Washington
*Love Her Lots or Freedom Speaks Will Represent Veteran Trainer * ‘Not Surprising’ that California Frolic is One to Beat
__HALLANDALE BEACH, FL __– Ron Spatz has achieved enduring success while training in South Florida for more than three decades while enjoying more than his share of good fortune with fillies and mares.
“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had some nice fillies and mares – 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, older horses,” said Spatz, who has made many visits to South Florida winner’s circles with the likes of Redoubled Miss, Chispiski and most recently, I Get It, among many others. “I can’t separate them. I can’t say this one was better than that one, or that one is better than this one. When they get to the high level, at the time they are in my barn, to me they are the best … until the next one comes along.”
Spatz is represented by a pair of promising fillies in the entries for Saturday’s $75,000 Martha Washington at Gulfstream Park, hopeful that either Lots of Love or Freedom Speaks will emerge as ‘the next one’ from the stakes for 3-year-old fillies scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Kevin Dole, Debbi Gagne and Spatz’s Love Her Lots brings experience into the Martha Washington, which will co-headline Saturday’s 14-race program (First Post: 12:45) with the $75,000 Not Surprising, a 1 1/16-mile turf feature for 3-year-olds.
Reitman Stables LLC’s Freedom Speaks enters the Martha Washington off an eye-catching debut victory.
Love Her Lots, who has registered victories on turf, dirt and Tapeta during her eight-race career, will likely be the Spatz representative if the race remains n the turf, while Freedom Speaks, who scored by six lengths on Gulfstream’s Tapeta surface May 12, is scheduled to run only if the race is transferred to the all-weather track.
Love Her Lots, who is coming off a second-place finish in an optional claiming allowance on Tapeta May 29, has finished in the money in her four turf races, including a third-place finish in the May 7 Honey Ryder.
“She’s a model of consistency,” Spatz said. “I don’t come back in 13 days on a normal basis, but this is the last turf race for a while. We talked about it and decided if the race is run on turf, we’ll run. If it isn’t, we’ll just run the other one.”
Freedom Speaks was purchased for $145,000 at the 2022 OBS Winter sale after breezing impressively over the all-weather surface at Ocala.
“She trained really well over Tapeta before the two sales she went through at OBS,” Spatz said. “Of course, we decided to run her on the Tapeta. She ran super. Was I surprised? No. But you don’t go into a race saying nobody is going to beat this horse.”
Miguel Vasquez has the call on Freedom Speaks, while Ameth Gonzalez is scheduled to ride Love Her Lots for the first time.
The Martha Washington drew a field of eight fillies, including the Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Miss You Ella, owned by Wonder Stables, Madaket Stables LLC and Goloconda Stable and Sister Lou Ann, a Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred.
Miss You Ella most recently finished an even fourth in the April 24 Memories of Silver at Aqueduct for trainer Chad Brown. The daughter of Declaration of War made the first two starts of her career for Brown without success before graduating in her third start Jan. 8 over Gulfstream’s Tapeta course after being saddled by Joseph. Miss You Ella moved up to graded-stakes competition in the Feb. 5 Sweetest Chant (G3), in which she rallied late to finish third on turf, before returning to New York.
Sister Lou Ann will come off a six-month layoff in the Martha Washington. The daughter of Frosted turned in a strong second-place finish in the Dec. 3 Wait a While on turf. In her previous start, she graduated by 7 ¾ lengths over Gulfstream’s Tapeta course. She launched her career with a second-place finish on turf in September.
St. George Stable LLC’s Omixochitl, who set the pace before coming up just a half-length short of victory in the Honey Ryder, also brings a record of versatility into the Martha Washington, having won on turf, dirt and Tapeta. The Fausto Gutierrez-trained daughter of More Than Ready resisted early pressure before drawing clear to break her maiden prior to her solid Honey Ryder effort.
Glen Hill Farm’s Saturday Nite Girl and Therearenorules and Eric Jensen’s Jan’s Girl round out the field.
‘Not Surprising’ that California Frolic is One to Beat
Julian De Mora Jr.’s California Frolic, fresh off a victory in the May 7 English Channel, looms as the horse to beat in Saturday’s $75,000 Not Surprising at Gulfstream Park.
The Armando De La Cerda-trained son of California Chrome is scheduled to face seven other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/16-mile stakes on turf, including horses that finished second, third and fourth in the English Channel at a mile on turf.
The English Channel was California Frolic’s first race on turf, which followed two victories and a third-place finish on Tapeta. The Kentucky-bred colt raced well off a contested early place before making an outside drive to victory in a blanket finish. Bob Marco, who finished a necked behind California Frolic, finished second by a neck over third-place finisher Old Town Road, who was a neck clear of Merlin.
Edgar Perez has the return mount on California Frolic.
Flying Pheasant Farm LLC’s Bob Marco, a son of Arrogate, had previously captured his turf debut in an April 3 optional claiming starter allowance. The Mary Eppler trainee was claimed for $25,000 out of a victory in a Feb. 4 $25,000 maiden claiming race.
Daniel Alonso’s Old Town Road, who came up a little short after setting a pressured pace in the English Channel, returns in the Not Surprising seeking his first win in three starts on turf.
Arindel’s Merlin, who pressed the pace and held gamely thorough the stretch last time out, will also seek his first win on turf Saturday.
Mathis Stable LLC’s Treasure King, formerly trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, is scheduled to make his debut for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. Saturday. The son of Treasure Beach won at first asking Feb. 25 over Gulfstream’s Tapeta course before capturing the Sophomore Turf for Florida-breds at Tampa Bay Downs March 27. Following a troubled off-the-board finish at Belmont Park in his third start, Treasure King was sent back to his birth state to join the Joseph stable.
Oak Ridge Farm’s Felix, Orpen Horses LLC’s Trust Daddy and Glassman Racing LLC’s Klugman round out the field.