Duff One Ready for Stakes Again After Sharp Allowance Score

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Duff One is headed back to stakes company after drawing off to a two-length victory in Thursday’ s co-featured ninth race at Gulfstream Park.

The Gary Contessa-trained 2-year-old filly, who had previously run in three straight stakes, surged from off the pace with ground-devouring strides through the stretch to defeat 11 rivals in the $48,750 optional claiming allowance race on turf.

“It looks like she’ll fit well with the stakes horses down here, the newly turned 3-year-olds, on the turf,” Contessa said. “We’ll certainly try the stakes races with her towards the end of January or February.”

Duff One ($20.40) was reserved off the pace by jockey Joel Rosario before being swung wide for the stretch drive, where she swept past a group of horse to her inside. Ready To Act, the 3-5 favorite who had run sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) last time out, finished second after running erratically in the stretch under Javier Castellano. Hardly, ridden by Jose Lezcano, finished third, another head back.

Duff One ran the mile on turf in 1:35.35.

“She just gobbles up the ground, so you really need to have her in the clear. The only thing I told Rosario was, ‘Try and keep her in the clear.’ He did a good job and she was able to use that,” Contessa said.

The daughter of Harlan’s Holiday broke her maiden in an off-the-turf race on a sloppy Saratoga track in her second lifetime start before finishing second in the $100,000 P.G. Johnson on turf at Saratoga. The Kentucky-bred filly finished fifth in the Miss Grillo (G3) and a troubled sixth in the $100,000 Chelsea Flower at Belmont before heading south.

WHO’S HOT: Two-time defending riding champ Javier Castellano scored three times, visiting the winner’s circle with Eriugena ($8.20) in the second, Sonja’s Angel ($3.20) in the sixth, and Elusive Design ($7.80) in the 10th.

Joel Rosario notched back-to-back victories with Silver Freak ($4.40) in the eighth and Duff One ($20.80) in the ninth.

Rainbow 6 Carryover: $73,001.46