her first start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, highly regarded Parranda
rated kindly under Rafael Bejarano and swept three-wide turning for
home to win Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes by 1 ½ lengths,
covering a flat mile on turf in 1:33.48.
Photo: Benoit Photo
Off as the second choice at 2-1 in a field of six fillies and mares
three and up, Parranda had one horse beat into and around the Club House
turn as favored Theatre Star and longshot Journey On dueled on the
“She broke really good, but those two fillies were going pretty fast,
so I covered my horse up and she was real comfortable with that,” said
Bejarano. “I saw the favorite move passing the half mile pole, so I
moved then too. I wanted to apply a little pressure going past the
three eighths and we stayed clear and she really came running.”
Owned by G. Campbell, D. Clark, Gatto Racing, LLC, Hollendorfer and G.
Skoda, Parranda, a 5-year-old mare by English Channel, paid $6.40, $3.40
A Grade III stakes winner on turf, Parranda had been idle since running
sixth in the Grade II, one mile turf Honey Fox Stakes on March 15 at
Gulfstream Park. She notched her ninth win from 22 starts on Sunday,
and with the winner’s share of $60,000, increased her earnings to
“She’s really blossomed since she got here,” said Hollendorfer. “Some
horses don’t like the Florida weather and her coat has really brightened
here. She’s won a lot of races, so we knew she was a good mare. This
was a pretty good bunch (of horses) today and we’ll look at the Gamely
(Grade I, $400,000 on May 26) next at a mile and one eighth.”
Third with Victor Espinoza up around the Club House turn, Moone’s My
Name was shuffled back to fifth at the rail with five sixteenths of a
mile to run, angled out for room a furlong out and closed well to finish
second, three quarters of a length in front of Premier Steps.
“The winner moved a little early going into the (far) turn but I waited
because my filly has a short run,” said Espinoza. “She ran big.”
The third choice at 5-2, Moone’s My Name paid $3.80 and $2.80.
Irish-bred Premier Steps, trained by Tom Proctor and ridden by Mike
Smith, was taken in-hand out of the gate and was last with a quarter
mile to run. Angled out wide by Smith at the top of the lane, she edged
stable mate Theatre Star for the show, finishing a half length in front
Premier Steps paid $3.00 to show.
Ridden by Gary Stevens and the actual favorite at 2-1, Theatre Star was
menaced early by Journey On and tired an eighth of a mile out after
setting fractions of 22.80, 45.98, 1:09.69 and 1:21.48.