Add another name, Rogue Romance, to the growing list of potential major players in the handicap division this season.
Lost in all the ballyhoo surrounding the $1 million Florida Derby –
in a race that took place more than five hours earlier, while the
majority of the record crowd was still fighting its way into the jammed
parking lots – was the performance of Rogue Romance in Saturday’s
opening event. Racing for the first time since finishing third behind
Mucho Macho Man in the 2011 Risen Star, Rogue Romance rallied from just
off the pace to an impressive three-length victory going a mile against a
solid field of second-level allowance rivals.
The win was the third in just six career starts for Rogue Romance, a
versatile son of Smarty Jones who captured the Grade 3 Bourbon over the
Keeneland turf course at 2 before finishing third behind Uncle Mo later
that fall in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.