OLDSMAR—If saying goodbye to the Garden State was only so easy.
R Adios Jersey left the competition in her wake, leaving no doubt as she wired the field in the 7-furlong Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies Stakes Sunday at Tampa Bay Downs.
The 3-year-old daughter of Adios Charlie is still without a blemish on her record, as she is now a perfect 4-4, with the Sophomore Fillies Stakes being her first added money win. R Adios Jersey is owned by Averill Racing, LLC and ATM racing, was ridden to victory by Paco Lopez and is conditioned by Georgina Baxter. The bay filly has demonstrated a remarkable versatility in each of her starts making her a formidable force.
“We’ve always known she was a nice filly,” said Baxter. “She really had to step up today and she deserved to be here. Paco made all the right moves. She’s won wire-to-wire and she’s won off the pace. She’s just so easy. She has a huge stride. She covers the ground. I didn’t think 7-furlongs would be a problem.”
What made an indelible impression was R Adios Jersey’s ability to stay on task, and the presence of a rival seemed to make her even more determined as she maintained an equanimity throughout.
“When another horse gets around her, she really digs in and finds another gear,” said Baxter. “She does everything you ask of her.”
The quick pace seemed to suit the 2020 OBS March 2-year-olds in training sales purchase, whose first three victories were at Gulfstream Park, but never at more than 6-furlongs.
“That’s the pace she’s been going at Gulfstream, she just had to go the extra furlong,” said Baxter. “When she got the lead, I was actually worried.”
The filly who at this stage in her career is a paragon of perfection has already endeared herself to her trainer.
“She’s always been a favorite of mine,” said Baxter. “I’ve loved her since I first set eyes on her. Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to get a horse in your barn that captures your heart and imagination. She gave me a special feeling.”
R Adios Jersey filled a void in Baxter’s barn that had been left by the retirement of multiple graded stakes winner Lady’s Island and world record holder Pay Any Price.
She stepped up at just the right time,” said Baxter. “I had this really nice feeling about her from the moment that she walked in the barn. She’s always been so classy. She’s done everything that we’ve asked of her. It was hard with those two retiring, especially with both ending their racing careers in the same month.”
However, Baxter is keeping close tabs on her two former charges as they go onto the next phase in their life.
“I went to see Pay Any Price just last weekend at Journeyman Stud,” said Baxter. “Lady’s Island was bought by Gainesway. I believe they were going to try to put her in foal to Tapit.”
Feature by Ben Baugh
Photo: R Adios Jersey, (Ben Baugh)