Starship Bonita prevails over Dessert Honeys in Susan's Girl
September 02, 2017 01:42pm
Starship Bonita wins FSS Susan's Girl
Photo: Lauren King

Laurence Leavy, a.k.a. Marlins Man, would have loved to have been at Gulfstream Park for the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes, but the country’s most famous and well-traveled sports fan opted to attend Saturday night’s Florida State-Alabama football game in Atlanta.

Starship Stables’ owner didn’t miss out on the action, however, watching the Gulfstream Park feed on his cellphone and cheering on his 2-year-old filly, Starship Bonita, to a photo-finish victory in the $200,000 Susan’s Girl.

“I’m screaming at my phone, ‘No, no, she’s moving too soon! Wait! She’s stopping! No, wait! She’s coming again! Oh, it’s a photo! Oh, she won!” said Leavy from Atlanta minutes after Starship Bonita prevailed over late-charging Dessert Honeys by a nose in the second leg of the Florida Sire Stakes series.

The seven-furlong event for 2-year-old fillies sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida co-featured a 13-race program that also included the $200,000 Affirmed for FSS-eligible 2-year-old colts and geldings.

Trained by Steve Dwoskin, Starship Bonita notched her first career victory in her third career start, improving upon a fourth-place finish in the first FSS leg, the $100,000 Desert Vixen, Aug. 5.

“I feel real good. We had a little problem after her last race and we corrected it. We knew she was going to run good. Did I know we were going to win? No,” said Dwoskin, who reported that the 2-year-old daughter of Gone Astray underwent three acupuncture treatments to relieve a back issue since her last start.

Sent to post at 14-1, Starship Bonita rated off the pace set by Desert Vixen winner Go Astray along the backstretch and stalked by Reagan’s Rose, before making a move to the lead coming off the turn into the homestretch under Carlos Montalvo. The Florida-bred filly, who finished second in her debut before finishing fourth in the Desert Vixen, passed a tiring Go Astray to open a clear lead but was all out to hold off Saratoga invader Dessert Honeys by a head.

“It was a dream plan by Mr. Dwoskin and [assistant trainer] Paul [Newman]. They told me what to do and I’m really happy to be a part of the team, because this filly could do it with anyone in the finale,” Montalvo said. “Coming down the stretch I knew I still had a lot of horse left, and I didn’t want to ease up on her because I knew they were coming. I could not hear them, but you could see in the end how close it was. Thank the lord we got there in time.”

Starship Bonita ran seven furlongs in 1:25.43. Eddie Kenneally-trained Dessert Honeys, a maiden who finished a troubled fourth in her debut at Saratoga Aug. 6, finished two lengths ahead of Go Astray and jockey Jose Batista. Awesome Mass, the 9-5 favorite ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, broke slowly and rallied to finish fourth.

Starship Bonita was purchased at the 2017 OBS March Sale for $72,000.

“When I went to the sale, she was my pick of the litter. I told Laurence Leavy, ‘Buy, this horse, no matter what it costs,’” Dwoskin said.

The 2017 FSS Series will conclude Sept. 30 at Gulfstream Park with the renewals of the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies and the $400,000 In Reality for colts and geldings, both to be contested around two turns at 1 1/16 miles.

Source: Gulfstream Park


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