Roses for Debra Catches Bouquet in Giant’s Causeway

April 13, 2024

Roses for Debra with Irad Ortiz, Jr., up sprints away for the win. (Keeneland Photo)

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.– Cheyenne Stable and John O’Meara’s Roses for Debra swept to the lead at the sixteenth pole and drew off for a 1¼-length victory over Love Reigns (IRE) to win the 27th running of the $260,713 Giant’s Causeway for fillies and mares.

Trained by Christophe Clement and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Roses for Debra completed the 5½ furlongs on a turf course rated good in 1:02.79. It is the third consecutive victory in the race and fourth overall for Ortiz with previous victories coming on Morticia in 2019, Campanelle (IRE) in 2022 and Twilight Gleaming (IRE) in 2023.

B G Warrior raced off to an unopposed lead with an opening quarter-mile in :21.28 as Roses for Debra raced in fifth. Ortiz kept Roses for Debra in the clear and moved four wide at the top of the stretch to set after the leaders.

Elm Drive took over for B G Warrior at midstretch but could not fend off the bid from Roses for Debra. She yielded the runner-up spot to Love Reigns in deep stretch.

Now a winner of five consecutive races against her own sex, Roses for Debra is a 5-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Liam’s Map out of the Bernardini mare Essential Rose. A Keeneland sales graduate, Roses for Debra improved her record to 12-8-1-1 and boosted her earnings to $579,868 with Saturday’s $141,438 check.

Roses for Debra paid $5.52, $3.70 and $3.16. Love Reigns, ridden by Joel Rosario, returned $6.78 and $5.24 and finished a length in front of Elm Drive, who paid $4.36 to show under Luis Saez.

It was another half-length back to Secret Money, who was followed in order by B G Warrior, Play the Music, Bling, Oeuvre, Breeze Easy (GB), Port Townsend, High Class and Kissed by Fire.

The 16-day Keeneland Spring Meet reaches the halfway point Sunday with a nine-race program beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

Quotes for the $300,000 Giant’s Causeway (G3)

Christophe Lorieul (assistant to Christophe Clement, winning trainer of Roses for Debra): “She had a break after Breeders’ Cup (when off the board in the Turf Sprint-G1) and came to Kentucky to reach the top of her form. She came to Payson Park (training center in Florida) over the winter, she was training great over there; (they had) a mild winter. She’s just a lovely mare.

“To do that (win today) off her layoff, it’s amazing, she ran great today. A touch rusty at the three-sixteenth pole and I got a bit worried, but then from the eighth pole on she overtook the leaders and won going away.”

Happy connections celebrating. (Keeneland Photo)
Happy connections celebrating. (Keeneland Photo)

Irad Ortiz Jr. (winning rider): “I was happy with my early position. There were a couple of horses going in front of me and I was able to save some ground and get to the fence real quick. I saved that ground on the turn and just waited until time to go. Like (assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul) told me, ‘Try to wait and keep her together as long as you can.’ Turning for home, I was still holding her, and then I let her go and she gave me everything she’s got. She showed she’s a nice filly. (Coming down the lane) she took like three jumps (to get going).”

Joel Rosario (rider of runner-up Love Reigns [IRE]): “Very good. She broke really well, being on the outside. She had a good race. It looked like for a second we were going to beat them, but she ran a great race. She handled everything well, and it looked like it was a good pace.”

Luis Saez (rider of third-place finisher Elm Drive): “Pretty good trip. We broke (from the starting gate) pretty well. We were expecting that position. The track was a little bit soft for her. In the turn, she kind of spun her wheels. She came to the stretch and got ahold of it a little bit. We just got beat.”

@jonathanstettin is that your money that has Alpha Team into 11/10 Jon?! 9/2 in . spot intl just disappeared, still holding 3/1.

hello world @helloworld2299 View testimonials



Leave a Comment