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Awesome Maria stomps Amen Hallelujah

Trainer Todd Pletcher continued his domination of the older filly and mare handicap division at Gulfstream Park this winter after sending Awesome Maria out to a decisive 4 3/4-length victory over the 8-5 favorite, Amen Hallelujah, in Saturday's $100,000 Sabin.

Six days earlier, Pletcher won Hurricane Bertie in similarly dominant fashion with Hilda's Passion. Both the one-mile Sabin and 6 1/2-furlong Hurricane Bertie are Grade 3 events.

Making her first start since finishing second in the Grade 1 Gazelle on Nov. 27, Awesome Maria forced the pace of Catch a Thief while well held by jockey John Velazquez, readily turned back a bid from Amen Hallelujah in early stretch then drew off to an easy victory. Amen Hallelujah was clearly second best, finishing 5 1/4 lengths in front of the tiring Catch a Thief.

Awesome Maria, a 4-year-old homebred daughter of Maria's Mon, completed the distance in 1:36.38 over a fast track and paid $6.20. Read More


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