The betting public got it right in Saturday’s Grade 3 Rampart
at Gulfstream Park. They made Awesome Maria 4-5
against Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Unrivaled Belle and it was no
contest as the former cruised to an easy nine furlong victory in 1:49.09.
Persuading went straight to the front from the inside post
and held the lead for six furlongs. Unrivaled Belle sat in second for much of
the running and Awesome Maria launched her winning move from third shortly
after six panels.
The winner, trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Robsham
Stables, steadily increased her margin in the stretch and crossed the line
8-lengths in front under John Velazquez.
Successful Song made an inside move around the far turn and
landed the place at 25-1. Unrivaled Belle outfinished Persuading for the show. Stephanie
Got Even never got involved and Dubai Dancer was far back in last.