Thursday, September 19, 2013

Starship Truffles a Grade 1 Favorite for $100,000 Musical Romance

Wildcat Lily Set to Take on Elders in Gulfstream Park Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Starship Truffles certainly showed herself to be a talented filly during the winter meeting at Gulfstream Park while winning three races, including a four-length victory in the $100,000 Claiming Crown Glass Slipper.

The former $6,250 claimer, however, will be in a whole other stratosphere when she returns to action at Gulfstream Saturday in the $100,000 Musical Romance Stakes. Since the fans at the Hallandale Beach track last saw her, Starship Truffles established herself as a Grade 1 stakes winner and, subsequently, brought a $1 million winning bid at auction.

Returned to trainer Marty Wolfson by the new owner, Shane Ryan’s Castleton Lyons, a few days after the Fasig-Tipton sale in Kentucky in mid-July, Starship Truffles made her first start since winning the Princess Rooney (G1) on July 6 in the Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 13.

The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper, who generally is an alert breaker from the starting gate, was jostled after getting away last in the field of 10, but recovered well to finish only 4 ½ lengths behind multiple-stakes winner Dance to Bristol.

“She would have won if she broke, but she was last,” Wolfson said. “I told (jockey Luis Saez), ‘I want this filly breaking sharply,' and she came out last.”

Starship Truffles, who has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Musical Romance, came out of the Ballerina in great shape, Wolfson reported. Jockey Edgard Zayas has been named to ride the 14-race winner, who is one of four fillies and mares entered by Wolfson in the 6 ½-furlong sprint. Miller Racing’s My Pal Chrisy, Sure Route and Bringingdown Babel will also be saddled by Wolfson.

My Pal Chrisy, who was purchased privately before her most recent start, made a strong first impression on her trainer while winning the $100,000 Paseana Stakes at Gulfstream by nearly seven lengths on Aug. 17.

“She’ll be very tough. I never thought she was as good a filly as ‘Starship,’ and I still don’t, but that race was really good,” Wolfson said. “I think she’s a better sprinter. I want to keep her under a mile. That’s her best distance.”

Another newcomer to Miller Racing, Sure Route, finished eighth in the Ballerina in her first start since being claimed for $100,000 at Saratoga on July 22.

“I really like that filly. That filly is probably training the best of all of them,” Wolfson said. “She’s a really nice filly. She came to this country as a turf filly, but she’s got some strong races on the dirt. She loves the dirt.”

Bringingdown Babel, a hard-hitting 6-year-old mare who has won 13 races, promises to be a strong early factor in the running of the Musical Romance.

“She’ll be in front,” Wolfson said. “She’s going to the front. There’s not much speed in there.”
Bringingdown Babel’s presence could provide at least early company with speedy Wildcat Lily, who is coming off a pair of sharp second-place finishes in the Prioress (G1) and the Test (G1) at Saratoga. Rated second in the morning line at 5-2, the Manny Azpurua-trained 3-year-old filly is set to break from the rail post position under jockey Jose Alvarez.

“She’s a nice filly. She’s very quiet. She’s a quick filly out of the gate,” Azpurua said. “She never fights the rider. He can do anything he wants with her. If he wants to go to the lead, she can do it. If he wants to stay behind, she can do it too.”

Wildcat Lily, a $20,000 yearling purchase, has earned $393,065 for Rontos Racing Stable while steadily establishing herself as one of the top 3-year-old filly sprinters in the country.

Isabelle’s Thunder, who finished second behind My Pal Chrisy in the Paseana after winning an allowance race at Gulfstream, will join Wildcat Lily, Appealing Stella and Defy Gravity against the Wolfson-trained quartet.

Appealing Stella and Defy Gravity are stakes-placed performers who have been racing in the Mid-Atlantic region most recently.

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