Last Leaf Wins First Dirt Stakes
Saturday, June 18, 2022
HALLANDALE BEACH - Monarch Stables Inc.’s Last Leaf returned to the main track and the 3-year-old filly division today to capture the $75,000 Game Face Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The Ron Spatz-trained daughter of Not This Time ($10.80), who finished fifth against the boys in the Roar Stakes on turf last time out, pressed the pace, shook off a stretch challenge from favored stablemate Freedom Speaks and drew away to a 3 ½-length victory under Miguel Vasquez.
Last Leaf, a two-time stakes-winner on turf who defeated males in last year’s Hollywood Beach, captured her first stakes on dirt in the Game Face. Reitman Stables' Freedom Speaks, the 6-5 favorite who captured her recent debut very impressively on Tapeta, got away from the starting gate a bit slowly before advancing into contention at the top of the stretch. The daughter of American Freedom settled for second under Emisael Jaramillo, a half-length ahead of Rapturous, the early trailer who closed mildly in the stretch under Luca Panici.
“Going in, I thought Last Leaf got a perfect [outside] post position for her. She likes to be out there and not get a lot of dirt in her face. The other filly didn’t get a very good trip. She got off a little slow, got shut off and bumped. Everything happened and she still ran a good race,” Spatz said.
Last Leaf, who finished third in the Gr. III Forward Gal on dirt during the Championship Meet, ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.78. “Last Leaf is a great little horse. She’s small and she’s got a big heart,” Spatz said.
In the $60,000 Coral Gables, Kenneth Ramsey’s Ramsey Solution drove to the lead down the stretch to win under Leonel Reyes while covering a 1 1/16-mile Tapeta course in 1:43.43. Eamonn was second and the pacesetter Calibrator was third. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. Ramsey Solution was making his first start in 11 months since finishing second by a neck in July in the Baltimore-Washington Turf Cup at Laurel Park.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed
The Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000 Sunday. The multi-race wager went unsolved today for the third day following last Saturday’s mandatory payout.
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