Dorothy Alexander Matz's Tequilita is scheduled to seek her second graded-stakes success of the 2018-2019 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park in Saturday's $200,000 Inside Information (G2).
The seven-furlong Inside Information, in which the 5-year-old daughter of Union Rags will shoot for her third overall graded-stakes victory at Gulfstream, may well be her final career start.
||Jala Jala (MEX)
||Brian Hernandez, Jr.
|Claude McGaughey III
|Anthony Margotta, Jr.
"She likes Florida. We'll see how she runs on Saturday and then make a decision if this is going to be her last race. Maybe, if she runs well, we might come in the Madison - that's a Grade 1 [at Keeneland, April 6]," trainer Michael Matz said. "We'll see. It depends on my wife and what she wants to do. She's been a good filly for us."
The homebred mare, who captured the seven-furlong Forward Gal (G2) and finished second in the 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) during the 2016-2017 Championship Meet, finished off her 2018 campaign with a 2 ½-length victory in the Rampart Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park in December.
"There's nothing wrong with her that says she can't run the rest of the year as a 5-year-old, but again it's my wife's decision, not mine," said Matz, noting his wife has a season to Street Sense.
Tequilita, most recently, finished third behind Bill Mott-trained Blamed in the Royal Delta (G3) at Gulfstream Feb. 16, closing well through the stretch to finish a neck behind runner-up Jala Jala after lacking room along the rail.
"That's a nice horse of Billy Mott's that got a nice easy lead. Everything set up for that horse and not our horse," Matz said. "Hopefully, we can change things around Saturday."
Luis Saez, who was aboard for her victories in the Forward Gal and Rampart, returns to the saddle.
Like Tequilita, St. George Stable, LLC's Jala Jala has done her best running at Gulfstream Park. The Mexican Filly Triple Crown winner, who edged Tequilita for the place in the Royal Delta, first ventured to the U.S. and Gulfstream Park in Dec. 2017 to win the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe at 1 1/8 miles. The 5-year-old daughter of Point Determined returned last December to capture the $100,000 Copa Confraternidad del Caribe at 1 ½ miles. Both Clasico Internacional del Caribe victories were achieved against males at two-turn distances.
Trained by Fausto Gutierrez, Jala Jala cut back to a one-turn mile for her U.S. graded-stakes debut in the Royal Delta to finish a game second, 1 ¼ lengths behind free-running Blamed.
Emisael Jaramillo has the return mount aboard Jala Jala.
Cairenn is slated to make her first start at Gulfstream in the Inside Information, as well as her 2019 debut, after a productive 2018 campaign in which she won three races, including the Shine Again Stakes at Laurel Park, and placed in four stakes, including the Bed o' Roses (G3) at Belmont Park.
"I certainly feel like her works have been good. She's worked well with everybody I've worked her with. She had a pretty nice work out of the gate the other day," trainer Graham Motion said. "Certainly, she's given indications that she's possibly improved but you never know with these filly, especially when they've had time off."
Owned by Heider Family Stable, Madaket Stables, LLC and Michael Kisber, Cairenn followed up an off-the-board finish in the Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga with her season-ending triumph in the seven-furlong Shine Again Sept. 29.
"[The Ballerina] was a competitive race. We took a shot to get her some Grade 1 placing. Otherwise, she's been pretty consistent I think," Motion said. "That was really important to end the year with a win. She'd been running in some tough spots."
The 5-year-old daughter of First Dude is a good candidate to fire fresh Saturday, said Motion.
"She's extremely straightforward to train in the morning, very kind, very willing. We talked about running her in the Barbara Fritchie (G3) at Laurel [Feb.16], but I kind of felt it came up a little quick to have her ready," Motion said. "This just made more sense - to keep her down there where she'd been training - and we circled this race, although it's going to be a competitive group. It's kind of a step up for her, but I do think she's doing well."
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who was aboard the Florida-bred mare for her Bed o' Roses placing, will ride for the second time.
St. Elias Stable's Teresa Z will make her first start of the year in the Inside Information after closing out the 2018 campaign with an off-the-place victory in the 1 1/8-mile Turnback the Alarm (G3) at Aqueduct Nov. 3. Trained by Anthony Margotta Jr., the 5-year-old daughter of Smart Strike won the 1 1/16-miloe Monmouth Oaks (G3) in 2017. She's excelled around two turns during her career but broke her maiden going seven furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs in 2016.
Joe Bravo has the mount.
Tobey Morton's Pacific Gale will seek to break out with a graded-stakes win Saturday after placing in the Dec. 15 Sugar Swirl and Hurricane Bertie (G3) during the Championship Meet. Chris Landeros has the call aboard the John Kimmel-trained 4-year-old daughter of Flat Out.
Naveed Chowhan's America's Tale, who won the Safely Kept at Laurel and the Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds prior to finishing off the board on turf last time out; Gainesway Stable and Andrew Rosen's Pink Sands, who is slated to make her stakes debut after winning back-to-back optional claiming allowances in her two most recent starts at Gulfstream; and Patrick Biancone Racing, LLC's Razorback Lady, an optional claiming allowance winner last time out; round out the field.
2019 Inside Information Nominees Include Stormy Embrace & Tequilita
Graded-stakes winners Stormy Embrace, Talk Veuve to Me, Tequilita and Teresa Z, and Mexican star filly Jala Jala are among 18 horses nominated to the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, March 30.
The 40th running of the seven-furlong Inside Information for fillies and mares 4 and older going seven furlongs, named for the 1995 champion older mare and 2008 Hall of Famer that won 14 races - six of them Grade 1 - from 17 career starts, is the standalone feature Saturday, March 16.
Matalona Thoroughbreds' Florida homebred Stormy Embrace earned an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup with her victory in the Princess Rooney (G2) last summer at Gulfstream. Since her 11th-place finish in the Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), she was second by a neck in the Sugar Swirl (G3) and third in the Hurricane Bertie (G3), the latter Jan. 26.
Talk Veuve to Me, trained and co-owned by Rodolphe Brisset, has not raced since running sixth in the 1 1/8-mile Spinster (G1) Oct. 7 at Keeneland. She won the Indiana Oaks (G3) following her runner-up effort in the Acorn (G1) last summer.
Dorothy Alexander Matz's Tequilita is looking to win her third graded-stake in as many years at Gulfstream, after taking the 2017 Forward Gal (G2) as a 3-year-old in 2017 and the Rampart (G3) Dec. 15. Last time out, she was third by 1 ½ lengths in the Feb. 16 Royal Delta (G3).
St. Elias Stable's Teresa Z won the 2017 Monmouth Oaks (G3) and has gone unraced since her six-length romp in the 1 1/8-mile Turnback the Alarm (G3) Nov. 3 at Aqueduct. She has had five breezes over Gulfstream's main track since early February.
St. George Stable's Jala Jala, a 5-year-old daughter of Point Determined, won Mexico's Triple Crown in 2017 before winning the Clasico del Caribe at Gulfstream in her North American debut. She returned to South Florida in December to become the first filly ever to also win the Copa Confraternidad. She was second, a neck ahead of Tequilita, in the Royal Delta.
Also among the nominees are multiple stakes winners America's Tale and Bronx Beauty; Grade 3-placed Cairenn, winner of the Shine Again Stakes Sept. 29 at Laurel Park last out; Mybigitalianfriend, a three-time winner at the Championship Meet by 17 combined lengths; and Pink Sands, a winner of two straight this winter at Gulfstream.