G3 Suwannee River Sees Accomplished Girl Stretch Out, Return to Turf

December 28, 2023

Accomplished Girl triumphs in an allowance optional claimer July 16 at Gulfstream Park (Coglianese)

David Joseph/Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.— A Grade 2 winner in a Tapeta sprint, Gentry Farms’ Accomplished Girl is scheduled to stretch out and return to turf for Saturday’s $150,000 Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The Suwannee River, a mile turf stakes for fillies and mares, will be a supporting stakes on an 11-race program featuring the $150,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3), a 1 1/16-mile prep for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), and the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2), a 1 1/8-mile turf prep for the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Jan. 27.

Accomplished Girl broke her maiden impressively on turf but is definitely more accomplished on Tapeta. The 3-year-old daughter of Street Boss enters the Suwannee River off a front-running victory in the 6 ½-furlong Presque Isle Masters (G2) on Tapeta.

“It’s hard to say that she’s not better on Tapeta, but she good on turf also,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said.

Accomplished Girl captured a July 16 optional claiming allowance over Gulfstream’s all-weather surface and finished a close second on turf in a Kentucky Downs optional claiming allowance prior to her Presque Isle Masters win.

While she has shown talent on turf and all-weather surfaces, Accomplished Girl has not run beyond 6 ½ furlongs during her six-race career.

“We’re stretching her out. We entered her for Sunday [in the five-furlong Abundantia], but we decided to run on Saturday, stretching out, going a mile. I feel like she can do it,” Joseph said. “She has the pedigree on her dam’s side to at least get a mile. She relaxes good in her works. That’s going to help. But until they do it, you never know. We’re hoping she gets it, because if she gets the mile, it opens up a lot of opportunities for her.”

Edgard Zayas has the return mount aboard Accomplished Girl.

Sister Lou Ann a gate-to-wire winner of the Martha Washington June 11, 2022, at Gulfstream Park (Coglianese)

Joseph is also scheduled to saddle Ken Ramsey’s Sister Lou Ann for the Suwannee River. The 4-year-old daughter of Frosted is coming off a second-place finish behind Sand and Seas in the $100,000 Sabal Palm Handicap at Gulfstream. A few starts earlier, the homebred filly captured the One Dreamer at Kentucky Downs.

“She won the race at Kentucky Downs, then she ran subpar at Keeneland. Her last race was set up to hopefully have her peak in this race,” Joseph said. “She’s coming into this race in good order. I think she’s going to run big.”

Jose Ortiz has the return mount on Sister Lou Ann.

Gold Square LLC’s Full Count Felicia will make her Gulfstream debut following a fourth-place finish in the Goldikova (G2) on the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup undercard.

“She’s doing great. She made the trip to California and came back, and we’ve taken our time getting her back into a rhythm,” trainer Brittany Russell said. “She’s the kind of filly that when she’s doing good, she likes to train. She’s training forwardly. It seems as though she’s ready to run.”

Full Count Felicia victorious in the All Along Sep. 16 at Laurel Park (Coglianese)

Full Count Felicia has won four of six starts since joining Russell’s stable, including an 8 ½-length victory in the All Along at Laurel prior to her trip to Santa Anita for the Goldikova.

“As soon as she stepped into the barn, she was pretty straightforward,” Russell said. “She’s a strong forward type training in the morning. Sometimes, with good horses, that’s just how they are. You just have to keep them happy.

“She’s a tough girl. For a filly, she’s one of those horses that likes her job. She enjoys going to the racetrack every day.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. will fill in for regular rider Sheldon Russell, Brittany’s husband.

“We’re pretty busy at Laurel that day. We have a couple of live ones there,” Russell said. “You’re in good hands with Irad. Honestly, she’s a pretty straightforward type to ride. I just hope they get a good trip around. I think she’ll run well.”

Stonestreet Stables LLC’s Willakia, who finished second behind Full Count Felicia in the All Along, enters the Suwannee River off a troubled close-up fourth in the Forever Again at Aqueduct after breaking from the rail post position.

“She was a little unlucky last time. She got stuck in there,” trainer Graham Motion said. “I don’t know if it cost her the race, but it definitely cost her hitting the board. She definitely would have gotten a piece of it.”

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who guided Motion-trained Romagna Mia to a stunning Via Borghese triumph Tuesday at Gulfstream, is scheduled to ride Willakia for the first time Saturday.

CHP Racing’s Saffron Moon, who defeated Willakia in a Keeneland allowance before finishing a distant second in the Cardinal (G3) at Churchill; Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC’s Walkathon, the third-place Cardinal finisher who captured the 2022 Regret (G3) at Churchill before going to the sidelines for more than a year; Susan and Jim Hill’s Fast as Flight, the fourth-place finisher in the Sabal Palm who has been in the money in 11 of 16 starts; John Behrendt’s Tequilera, who has won her last two starts at Kentucky Downs and Laurel; Pantofel Stable, and Wachtel Stable’s Poca Mucha, a consistent daughter of Tourist who is coming off a solid second in a Kentucky Downs optional claiming allowance; and Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Messidor, a steady-running Irish-bred mare; round out the field.

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