Dennis Federico’s Maryland homebred mare Waquoit’s Love had come close to winning a stakes several times over the last year, twice losing head decisions, but finally broke through to capture Sunday’s $100,000 Marshua’s River Stakes at Gulfstream Park by a neck under jockey Rene Douglas.

The roan/gray 6-year-old daughter of Waquoit, trained by Tim Hills, was close-up from the start, broke clear in the stretch, but was all out to hold Darley Stable’s Sea Chanter safe at the wire after 1 1/16 miles in 1:41:10 over the ‘firm’ course. Stronach Stable’s Ginger Brew was the even-money favorite in the field of 11 fillies and mares and rallied for third, 1¼ lengths behind the runner-up.

Waquoit’s Love paid $19.60. She had been consigned to Monday’s session of the Keeneland January sales, but scratched last week after Federico and Hills decided to run her in this race. She had finished fifth last out in the My Charmer Handicap (G3) at Calder on Dec. 6 with trouble in the race. Douglas picked up the mount after jockey Elvis Trujillo suffered a minor hand injury earlier on the card.

Winning Jockey Quotes

Rene Douglas:

“I had my hands full. This was like going in blind-folded because I didn’t know anything about her, and had no time to study or anything. She’s a big horse and the trainer (Tim Hills) told me she had a long stride, so I tried not to restrain her very much. I wasn’t trying to do too much and it worked out. We turned it on once we hit the turn. After that we were all right. This was a weird one because I knew so little (about the horse). We’ll see what happens. Today is today, and tomorrow is tomorrow. Hopefully Elvis is all right.”

Winning Trainer Quote

Tim Hills:

“She was entered in the Keeneland (January) sales for tomorrow, but we scratched her last week. We talked about it (owner-breeder Dennis Federico) and decided that in today’s market, she wouldn’t bring what she’s really worth, and if she would win a stakes, she would be worth twice as much. She got a great trip today. I told Rene (Douglas) to put her in the race early. She’s so big that if she gets back too far, it takes to long to get her going. She’s been so close in stakes before.”


23:66, 47:57, 1:11:17, 1:35:07 & 1:41:10