Gherdaiya Lights Up the Board in SSM F/M Turf

SSM F/M Turf ($150.000 Purse)
GP- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward Foaled in FL
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Turf
January 20, 2018

There were not many people who believed in Gherdaiya for the SSM F/M Turf. We’d love to say that we were an exception, but we could also be put into that category. The filly had struggled since the beginning of last year, with only an optional claiming win to show for it. That came here in a statebred, so maybe she is simply a horse for the course. At any rate, at crazy odds of 307/1, Gherdaiya pulls off the stunning upset. The winning trainer is Chili King Stable, who had not won yet in 2018, and jockey J R Leparoux is in the saddle. At some point, wouldn’t we just place bets on Leparoux and not let this filly get such crazy odds in a small field? Regardless, it’s the first win the stake for both trainer and jockey, with the time of victory being 1:40.48. That’s the slowest of the last three run with the same conditions, but it was all that was necessary. Let’s look at the race a little more!

(1/4 Mile- :23.44)- All five of the horses seemed to break well out of the gate, and eventually emerging the lead as the field moved into the first turn would be the longshot Gherdaiya, for Chili King Stables, who would look to win this race the same way Awaken won the companion race, the SSM Turf, and go wire to wire. Skeleton Spy ran along side her for Estero Farms and was within half a length midway into the first turn. Going back two lengths is where you’d find Sunset Vista (Team 7 Illusions) and Keep Coming Back (Mb Stables). Trailing by four and half was the known closer from Our Athletes, Saddle Happy.

(½ Mile- :46.91)- The second quarter of the race was nearly exactly the same as the first quarter, just look at how close the fractions were for each of them! There is no change anywhere in the field, with Gherdaiya still holding her half-length lead on Skeleton Spy. Sunset Vista is third, trailing by two, and its another length to Keep Coming Back. The closer Saddle Happy still has a four and a half deficit, so let’s just move on to the next segment.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Late in the backstretch run, Gherdaiya gradually pulls away from the second place Skeleton Spy. This seemed to be a combination of both Gherdaiya still be in a full stride, and Skeleton Spy tiring out, as she would fall out of it in the turn. Beginning to gear up around the turn would be Keep Coming Back, as she passed Sunset Vista like she was not even there, and then also got by the tiring Skeleton Spy to be second at the top of the stretch, with two lengths to make up. Also looking for run here is Saddle Happy, looking for one of her classic stretch runs. She would commit to running four wide pretty early as they approached the exit of the turn, and this was a nice clear lane that had set up for her. However, I can’t help but wonder what might have happened with her if she chose to split Keep Coming Back and Skeleton Spy at the top of the stretch, since it was a very close margin at the end. Sunset Vista was not showing us much.

(Finish- 1:40.48)- While running along the rail most of the way, Gherdaiya has a completely clean trip and holds off the frantic late bids of Saddle Happy and Keep Coming Back, to shock everyone in the grandstands, and pull off the big upset. Running second would be Saddle Happy in a photo, and it was a fantastic run in the stretch. It didn’t help her, though, that Keep Coming Back kept coming down on her in the stretch, making her go even wider. As for Keep Coming Back, it’s a good third place run for her as she is also with a half length. Sunset Vista was a disappointing fourth, beating only the winded Skeleton Spy at the end.

About The Winner: Gherdaiya, trained by Chili King Stables and ridden to victory by J R Leparoux is a four year old filly by the late Laffin Skylark, and out of Pinky Queen. She was bred in Florida by Blushing Meadows as a first quarter two year old, and was acquired by Chili King from the breeder in a July 2017 private sale for $50.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her fourth win in 14 starts, and its her second stake win. Each stake win has been ungraded. Her career earnings are now $224.520.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Gherdaiya Chili King Stables Leparoux J R 307.20   1nk 1:40.48  
  Saddle Happy Our Athletes Landeros C 2.25   21/4 1:40.54  
  Keep Coming Back Mb Stables Gaffalione T 2.30   33 1:40.62  
  Sunset Vista Team 7 Illusions Saez L 2.55   43/4 1:41.38  
  Skeleton Spy Estero Farms Colon L H 2.45   5 1:41.56  

Track: Firm

Time: :232  :464  1:101  1:402

$2 Mutuel Prices:

3 – Gherdaiya 616.40 118.50 131.30
5 – Saddle Happy   4.20 2.90
2 – Keep Coming Back     2.80

$1 Exacta: 3 – 5 Paid 636.60

$1 Trifecta: 3 – 5 – 2 Paid 275.90

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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