A mid-week trip from his California base to Gulfstream Park for Wednesday's $100,000 Old Hat S. (G3) proved fruitful for jockey Joel Rosario, as he guided trainer Wesley Ward's FINAL MESA (Sky Mesa) to victory in the six-furlong dash for three-year-old fillies by 1 3/4 lengths on opening day of the Hallandale Beach, Florida, course's 2011 meet.
The 5-2 third choice in a field of six, Final Mesa broke sharply but settled in second off the fast early pace set by It's Me Mom (Put It Back), who rattled off an opening quarter in :21 3/5 while 1 1/2 lengths on top. That margin was eclipsed and then some by the time the field reached the quarter pole, as Final Mesa moved a half-length in front in :44 while It's Me Mom hit a brick wall and Quantum Miss (Smoke Glacken) and then Pomeroys Pistols (Pomeroy) each took their ultimately futile turns at catching the eventual winner. Final Mesa drew off in the final furlong to finish up in 1:09 3/5 over the fast main oval.
Pomeroys Pistol, the 34-1 outsider in the field, finished 5 1/4 lengths clear of Roxy Gap (Indian Charlie), the 3-2 second choice who had two lengths on It's Me Mom. Farther back were 7-5 favorite Quantum Miss and 25-1 chance Mis Vizcaya (Successful Appeal).
Final Mesa returned $7.60, $5.20 and $3, while Pomeroys Pistol gave back $22.20 and $5.40 and capped the $146 exacta. Roxy Gap returned $2.20 and completed the trifecta worth $437.80. The 3-4-6-2 superfecta paid $1,307.20.
Final Mesa was accustomed to winning by large margins early in her career. After a 7 1/2-length maiden score at Keeneland going 4 1/2 furlongs, Final Mesa moved to dirt to win the Polly Drummond S. at Delaware Park by 4 3/4 lengths, then took the My Dear S. by 7 3/4 lengths over Woodbine's Polytrack. Favored for a fourth straight time in the August 6 Sorrento S. (G3) at Del Mar, Final Mesa wilted through the stretch to finish sixth, beaten seven lengths, in her first trip west. This score, achieved after a five-month break, elevated her career earnings to $202,377.
Bred in New York by Carmine Telesca and John Guerrera, Final Mesa was a $72,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga. Produced by the unraced Final Style (Smart Style), Final Mesa is a half-sister to Grade 3 victor Uncle Cammie (Abaginone), the juvenile colt Final Stride (Andromeda's Hero) and a yearling filly by Posse.
Final Mesa's fourth dam was The Bride (Bold Ruler), whom the Phipps family "won" in the famous coin flip instead of her full brother Secretariat and proceeded to go unplaced in four career starts. Among The Bride's descendents are multiple Japanese champion filly Nishino Flower (Majestic Light), Grade 1 winner Personal Business (Private Account), multiple Grade 2 winner Any Limit (Limit Out) and Grade 3 scorer In Conference (Dayjur).