Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
enjoyed her second straight stakes success when
she parlayed a stalking trip en route to victory in the $100,000 The
Very One Stakes (G3) today at Gulfstream. Sent off at 10-1, the gray
mare was unperturbed by the antics of Anjaz in the starting gate, and
was reloaded without incident after that rival was a late
Inimitable Romanee was settled in fourth by jockey Alan Garcia as
Viva Rafaela set a tepid pace up front. Garcia bided his time aboard the
New York-bred until the final turn, when she swung into action with a
three-wide move. Aigue Marine switched out for running room, but
Inimitable Romanee fended off that challenge and crossed the wire a
length in front. She completed the 1 3/8-mile distance in 2:15.50. Viva
Rafaela stayed on gamely for third.
“It was a good trip," Garcia said. "She broke good. She rated behind
the speed. When she moved out, she kicked in. It was a really good
feeling at the quarter-pole to have plenty of horse.”
Inimitable Romanee began her career in Great Britain before returning
to her native New York. The Gallaghers Stud homebred picked up plenty
of checks in state-bred stakes competition, but finally ended a 16-month
drought in her latest start, the Long Island Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct
on November 9. Trainer H. Graham Motion felt the mare would run her race
this afternoon despite the hiatus.
"We backed off of her a little bit (after the Long Island)--I didn't
want to come down here and run in every race," Motion said. "We had the
idea of giving her a little break. She'd been running maybe not all
year, but she had had a good go, so we backed off of her a bit. She's
had four or five breezes. She's pretty easy to train. She's probably the
most straightforward horse in the barn, so I wasn't too worried about
the break at all."
Inimitable Romanee, a daughter of Maria's Mon and the tough grass
mare Cellars Shiraz, had primarily been campaigned in two-turn races for
the last two years before stretching out to 12 furlongs in the Long
"I'm not surprised that she's come into herself, I should have tried
her at a mile and a half about three years ago, I guess," Motion
offered. "This was our first goal and I'm not going to be in a hurry to
run her back. It's a long year. I am lucky that (owner) Mrs. (Marlene)
Brody decided to keep her in training because she very easily could have
sent her to the breeding shed. I feel very fortunate that she kept her
Inimitable Romanee's The Very One victory took her career earnings to $383,875.
The well-backed Anjaz acted up badly in the starting gate in her first
afternoon appearance since August.
"As soon as they closed
the back door, she started kicking it," trainer Tom Albertrani said.
"She's had a tendency to do it in the past. We have schooled her and
thought it was past us. We've had some tough luck with her."