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Inimitable Romanee Upsets The Very One

Gulfstream Park 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
Inimitable Romanee 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 scratch.            

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 Island.            

"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 going."            

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."



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