- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Pomeroys Pistol fires in Forward Gal
Hardacre Farm LLC's homebred POMEROYS PISTOL (Pomeroy) used her front-running position in Sunday's $200,000 Forward Gal S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park to draw off in the stretch, giving her enough of an advantage to hold the fast-closing Dancinginherdreams (Tapit) by a three parts of a length on the wire. With jockey Pascacio Lopez providing a smart ride, the Amy Tarrant trainee finished up the seven-furlong test in 1:22 4/5 to add a first stakes win to her resume.
"I was concerned that there wasn't enough time between her last race and this one and considered waiting for the (February 26) Davona Dale (G2)," admitted Tarrant, the owner and breeder, as well as trainer, of the winner. "Now we'll see how she comes out of this one before deciding on the Davona Dale."
Third Chance (Kafwain) headed straight for the front when the gates opened, but found company in the form of Pomeroys Pistol to her inside and Devilish Lady (Sweetsouthernsaint) on the outside. Those latter two dropped back a bit as Third Chance proceeded to set splits of :22 1/5 and :44 3/5, but Pomeroys Pistol stayed well within striking distance. All the while, Dancinginherdreams was biding her time near the rear of the field under patient handling from Julien Leparoux.
Pomeroys Pistol moved up to take command as Third Chance began weakening heading into the turn while Dancinginherdreams found herself blocked in behind horses. Leparoux found himself facing a decision to either stay on the inside and hope for a way through or swing his gray mount out and circle the field. He opted for the latter, sending Dancinginherdreams wide into the lane.
The Pocahontas S. (G2) winner responded with a game run down the center of the track, but it was a case of too little, too late as Pomeroys Pistol had already opened up by 3 1/2 lengths. That margin was drastically reduced by Dancinginherdreams' furious rally, but Pomeroys Pistol still held as the 9-1 third choice to return $20.40, $6.80 and $4.60.
"I was concerned when she ended up on the lead, but from the one or two post you are pretty much committed. Paco has ridden her before, knows her, and knew she had plenty left," Tarrant said. "This is very special as my first homebred to win a graded stakes. I've had other homebreds win races, but not a graded stakes."
Dancinginherdreams, the 6-5 favorite, was easily best of the rest, finishing 3 1/2 ahead of Evil Queen (Hear No Evil), who in turn was a neck in front of Spinaway S. (G1) victress R Heat Lightning (Trippi). Third Chance, Devilish Lady and Alexandra Rylee (Afleet Alex) completed the order under the wire.
"I thought she ran extremely well. It was a very good race for her first race off the shelf. She probably made up 3 1/2 lengths on the winner in the final eighth of a mile. She just ran out of racetrack," said trainer John Ward, whose pupil Dancinginherdreams suffered the loss of her career in the Forward Gal. "She'll most likely go in the Davona Dale next and that's where it becomes tactical. It's not from the free throw line; it's from the three-point line."
Pomeroys Pistol earned her first win here since breaking her maiden in her debut last August at Monmouth Park. Following that initial score she ran fifth in the Sorority S. and finished third against allowance rivals at that same venue, but shipped south for the winter. Making her three-year-old bow a nice second in the Old Hat S. (G3) on January 5, the bay lass improved her line to 5-2-1-1 with this victory and now boasts $188,990 in earnings.
The Florida-bred filly is the second registered foal out of the unraced Point Given mare Prettyatthetable, who has since produced an unnamed juvenile colt by Wildcat Heir and a yearling colt by Indy Wind. Prettyatthetable is herself a daughter of Grade 2-placed multiple stakes queen Swearingen (Deposit Ticket) and a half-sister to Triple Cream (Tapit), who ran third in last year's Lake Placid S. (G3) and Boiling Springs S. (G3). This family is also responsible for 1994 Vosburgh S. (G1) winner Harlan (Storm Cat) and 1998 Spinaway S. (G1) victress Things Change (Stalwart).