In a change of tactics from her three previous starts in North America, Martin Schwartz’s Olorda
went straight to the lead and never gave it up, holding off stablemates Dacita and Guapaza to win the $150,000 The Very One (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The 27th running of the 1 3/16-mile The Very One was the first of three graded stakes on Saturday’s 13-race program, followed by the $500,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) and $200,000 Mac Diarmida.
Given a perfect trip by jockey Julien Leparoux, Olorda ($9.20) covered the distance in 1:51.54 over a firm turf course, breaking Gulfstream’s previous track record of 1:53.19 set by Hellenistic March 12, 2015.
“She was just doing it easy. I knew I was going pretty good, but she is kind of just one-paced and she just kept going,” Leparoux said. “I was surprised. It’s never easy to break a track record but the track is firm so they were going very fast.”
Bred in Germany, 4-year-old Olorda won a Group 3 stakes in France last May before joining the stable of trainer Chad Brown. She ran in three Grade 1 stakes in the U.S., each coming from off the pace, her best finish being a fourth in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in October.
Breaking from the far outside in the six-horse field, Leparoux steered Olorda to the front as expected pacesetter Quiet Kitten settled in second under Nik Juarez, tracked by 21-1 long shot Kitzys Rocket and Dacita, the 3-5 favorite also trained by Brown.
The top four never changed position through fractions of 22.98 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 47.10 for the half, six furlongs in 1:10.65 and a mile in 1:33.91. Olorda was still in front as her three challengers swung outside to make a bid approaching the stretch, with Dacita widest of all in the four path.
Olorda dug in through the final eighth of a mile to hold off late-running Dacita and win by a neck. It was three-quarters of a length back to Guapaza, the third Brown trainee making her North American debut, followed by Al’s Gal, Quiet Kitten and Kitzys Rocket.
“There was another speed horse (Quiet Kitten), the only one in the race that could go to the lead, and if that horse was going we could have sat second, but my filly broke very good and she was doing it very comfortably. She’s a big filly, a grinder, so she never eased up,” Leparoux said.
“I was trying to win the race, that’s it. I just saw in the last part of it that it was (Dacita) but I didn’t know who was coming. I just felt like my filly didn’t stop and the other one I could feel they were running faster at the end.”
Source: Gulfstream Park