Starship Jubilee makes history in Filly and Mare Turf

January 18, 2020

7-year-old becomes first three-time Sunshine Millions winner

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sent off as the 2-5 favorite, Starship Jubilee made the most of a very favorable pace scenario for her record-setting third-straight victory in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mares Turf Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, the 7-year-old Blue Heaven Farm mare quickly assumed the lead out of the gate and won going away. With her 15th career victory and ninth at Gulfstream Park, Starship Jubilee became the first horse with three Sunshine Millions victories.

In the Sunshine Millions Turf, Live Oak Plantation’s March to the Arch rallied from off the pace with Tyler Gaffalione up to edge Muggsamatic by a nose and pay $7.80.

Castellano and Starship Jubilee had an ideal script to work with, saving ground most of the way through the 1 1/16th miles race with very soft early fractions of :25.63, :50.77 and 1:14.66. They completed the distance in 1:42.57, with a comfortable margin of 3¼ lengths ahead of Beautiful Lover. Vow to Recover was third. Starship Jubilee, who secured a Grade 1 win on the E.P. Taylor in October at Woodbine, and paid $2.80.

“When I saw that first quarter, :25 and change, they were kind of walking around there and that’s pretty easy for her,” trainer Kevin Attard said. “You’re just hoping that she’s tight enough and hasn’t lost much conditioning from the trip down south. Javier, obviously, rode her well and knows her well. Great jockey. What can you say?”

Castellano smiled and delivered a similar assessment of the one-time claimer’s race.

“It was easy. I don’t know why I’m sweating,” he said. “Maybe nerves? Nah. She’s a special filly. You look at the form and see she’s hooked up with the best horses in the world. When you win the E. P. Taylor, the horses come from different places. She always hooks up with the best horses. Today, nothing against the other horse and not taking anything away from the other horses, but I think on a class level, she’s much the best.”

Starship Jubilee, claimed for $16,000 in February 2017, pushed her career earnings to $1,261,597. Attard said that expects the mare will continue racing this year.

“This is the best horse I’ve trained, a Grade 1 winner,” Attard said. “My first and only Grade 1 so far. To think where she’s come from and where she is today, it’s just been an unbelievable journey. I’m happy for the new connections who bought into her last year. She’s rewarded them really well. ”

Despite early fractions of :25.06, :50.17 and 1:13.40, March to the Arch he was able to close ground in the stretch and catch Muggsamatic and win the Turf in 1:41.75. Galleon Mast was third.

“I was concerned at all points in time,” said trainer Mark Casse. “I was even concerned after the finish.”

March to the Arch, a Live Oak homebred, was making his first start since finishing fifth, beaten one length in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on October 5 at Keeneland.

“He ran a hell of a race in the Shadwell,” Casse said. “Tyler came back and said, ‘I maybe should have won it.’ We flirted with the idea of running him in the Breeders’ Cup, but then we said if we’re not going to do that let’s stop now and aim for the Sunshine Millions to get him back going. It’s what we did with Got Stormy. We give those horses some time. We did it with World Approval. It’s not easy to run Jason [Servis] down; that was good.”

Via Gulfstream Park Press Release

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