Melnyk Racing Stable’s 3-year-old Kentucky homebred filly Gemswick Park was up in the final steps under jockey John R. Velazquez to post a nose victory over Martin Schwartz’ favored Elusive Heat in Sunday’s $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Elusive Heat was made the 11-to-10 favorite in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies after winning her only previous start impressively in October at Belmont Park, and took command early in the six-furlong test with Gemswick Park stalking from the outside and Dare To Dream Farm’s Frolic’s Dream close-up on the inside down the backstretch. It became a three-horse battle to the wire in deep stretch with Frolic’s Dream finishing only a nose back of the runner-up in third.

A daughter of owner-breeder Eugene Melnyk’s Eclipse champion sprinter Speightstown, Gemswick Park was making her first start since finishing second in the Temped Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct on Nov. 2 and paid $11 for $2 to win. She was timed in 1:09:77 over the ‘fast’ track.


Winning Jockey Quotes

John R. Velazquez:

“From the three-sixteenths pole on down it was a smooth one. I couldn’t ask for more. I felt a little pressure but, like I said, she responded at the three-sixteenths and we were able to finish. Once we got going I didn’t have any problems. This horse has a bright future ahead. Everything went well thank God. “


Winning Trainer Quote

Tom Albertrani:

“We tried to stretch her speed out a little farther than she probably really wants to go in the Frizette and Tempted (third and second, respectively, going one mile). I’m not sure what’s next. I think I’d rather run her five furlongs than seven, but we’ll see. I do think she’ll handle any surface though, including turf.”


Fractions:

22:17, 44:92 & 1:09:97