Juddmonte Farm’s 5-year-old Kentucky homebred mare Starformer
her first start since a wire-to-wire victory in the Long Island
Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct in November, was much the best Saturday
scoring a 3 1/4 lengths victory over Angegreen in the $100,000 The Very
One (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Ridden by Edgar Prado for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott,
Starformer, the 3-2 favorite, took a comfortable stalking position in
third early in the race run over ground rated ‘good’ until swinging out
around the leaders in the upper stretch before drawing clear in the
field of eight fillies and mares.
A daughter of Dynaformer, Starformer began her career in France
winning one of three starts as a 3-year-old in 2011 before being sent to
Mott that summer. She hit her best stride last year with three wins and
two seconds in seven starts, including her first Graded stakes score in
the 11-furlong R.G. Dick Memorial (G3) at Delaware Park in mid-July.
“We knew she was one of three horses in the race with speed and she
fell into a good position third,” said Mott. “She got a great trip. She
came to us as a 3-year-old and was a little disappointing running in
her first few races for us at a mile or a little more, and seemed to get
“After we stretched her out to 11 furlongs or more she seems to like
that a lot better. The Orchid (G3) is here (March 30) and I guess that
will be next for her.”
"The instructions coming into this race were to play it by ear and
see what happens,” said Prado. “If they decided to go, we'd lay back or
go nice and easy to the lead if that was the case. I sat right behind
the lead and waited.
“She was happy and relaxed and when I let her go around the turn.
She gave me a nice, beautiful move as we tried to find the best part of
the track. She's a very game filly and shows up every time. I'm very
proud of her. We ran on fresh ground with it raining hard the past few
days, but they kept the track in good shape, which is a plus."
Starformer paid $5 for $2 to win and was timed in 2:18:03. Richard,
Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Beijoca finished third, three-quarters of a
length behind the runner-up.