Race of the Week 2017

Successful Song Getting Better With Age

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC
Successful Song was supposed to be embarking on a new career as a broodmare by now, but her connections at Live Oak Plantation were moved to change their plan for their homebred by her winning ways during the Gulfstream Park meeting.

The 6-year-old daughter of Successful Appeal has been kept in training after victories in the $100,000 Ocala on Dec. 30 and the $300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff on Jan. 19 and will seek her sixth career stakes triumph in Saturday’s $150,000 Rampart (G3) on the undercard of the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby at Gulfstream.

“She has been doing just fantastic and he has been getting better with age, as we can see from her last two races,” said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who is also slated to saddle Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner Itsmyluckyday for a start in the Florida Derby. “She’s doing well enough that they decided to cancel her retirement and date in the breeding shed to keep her racing for another year.”

Successful Song has won a stakes in each of the last four years, earning $597,538 in purses, including $240,000 in her last two races.

“She’s maintained her soundness and has gotten better – I think her numbers bear that out. It’s just a credit to her,” Plesa said. “We’ve always had a plan with her. We’ve always given her time off, and I think that’s really helped to maintain her and given her the longevity that she’s had.”

Elvis Trujillo has the return mount aboard the Plesa-trained mare.

Successful Song is scheduled to clash with another 6-year-old mare in the Rampart, a 1 1/8-mile stakes that attracted a field of six fillies and mares, 4 years old and older. In stark contrast to the Plesa-trained veteran who’ll be making her 28th start, Padua Stables’ Authenticity is set to make her stakes debut in only her sixth start of her career.

After breaking her maiden in the second start of a three-race campaign in 2011, Authenticity had an 18-month layoff before debuting for trainer Todd Pletcher with a third-place finish in a mile allowance at Gulfstream on Jan. 21. The daughter of Quiet American was sent around two turns on Feb. 14, and the Kentucky-bred mare responded with a sparkling 17 ½-length triumph.

“I think the (inside post) going a one-turn mile hurt us (in her first race). She didn’t jump away from the gate that well and kind of got jammed in behind horses the whole way,” Pletcher said. “She’s a two-turn filly.”

Pletcher is also scheduled to saddle Michael Tabor’s Ciao Bella for the Rampart. The 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway is coming off a sharp 5 ¾-length allowance victory over Gulfstream’s main track after going winless in four starts on turf.

“We were a little bit frustrated. She didn’t seem to be finishing off her races like we expected her to,” Pletcher said.

Ciao Bella had demonstrated a fondness for the main track at Gulfstream while capturing her career debut by more than seven lengths on Dec. 18, 2011. After coming back to win a Monmouth allowance in July and finish fourth in an overnight stakes at Saratoga in August, she was switched to turf for the Garden City (G1) at Belmont, in which she finished fourth.  She finished second in stakes at Keeneland and Calder before finishing third in a Gulfstream allowance in December, before Pletcher sent her back to the main track for her impressive main-track score in February.

John Velazquez is named to ride Ciao Bella, while Rosie Napravnik has the mount aboard Authenticity.

Rounding out the field for the 36th running of the Rampart are:  The Marty Wolfson-trained Call The Ten, who won an allowance race at Gulfstream on March 13 after being claimed for $30,000 out of his prior start; Allen Jerkens-trained Go Unbridled, a graded-stakes placed mare who is unraced this year; and Dale Romans-trained One Last Dance, who finished a distant fourth behind champion Royal Delta in the Sabin (G3) last time out.



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