The Suncoast Stakes
TAM Race 5 1m 70 yards Dirt
Purse $150.000 For Fillies
Three Years Old
1st Gabrielle, trained by Alydar Stables
Broke well and took up a spot 2 lengths off the pace being set by Sweeping Slew. Maintained that position through the first 6 furlongs as the leader set a leisurely pace. Split horses at the top of the stretch, took the lead at the eighth pole and went on to an easy win.
2nd Morning Tea, trained by Mb Stables
Was caught five wide around the first turn as she dropped back to 7th five lengths off the lead. Raced in the same position down the backstretch and was then caught five wide again on the far turn. Started gradually making up ground as they came down the stretch and while never threatening the winner was able to gain the place.
3rd Moon Condo, trained by Hambletonian Stable
Raced in 6th position for the first half of the race about a length in front of Morning Tea. Despite saving ground on that one on both turns she was unable to out finish her and had to settle for the show.
4 Sweeping Slew, trained by Toppedout
Broke on top and went right to the front. Was able to set mild fractions while maintaining a two-length lead. Was no match when challenged by Gabrielle but was able to hang on for fourth.
This was certainly not the strongest field of Oaks hopefuls, but I believe the top two finishers have earned the right to continue their chase. Gabrielle has done nothing wrong in her career and despite never going off at less than 13-1 appears to be a solid contender. Morning Tea ran well with a difficult trip, so I will be anxious to see what she can do with a better post. The rest of the trainers will have some tough decisions to make as I am not sure they are good enough.