HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Stoneway Farm’s Stonetastic went into Saturday’s $200,000 Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream Park with a record of 0-for-4 in seven furlong races.
After the 5-year-old mare set a blistering early pace while running the first half mile in 44.35 seconds, the confidence of those who made her their 6-5 favorite might have been shaken a bit. However, the Kelly Breen-trained mare easily stretched her abundant speed to the wire under Paco Lopez, overpowering nine rivals with a 3 ¾-length score.
“Paco knows her; Paco likes her; and he’s confident with her. He’s confident with her on the front end,” Breen said. “You go a half in 44-and-1 and keep on going, you’re a nice horse.”
Stonetastic broke sharply from the starting gate and outgunned Flutterby for the early lead, quickly opening up a clear lead along the backstretch. The gray daughter of Mizzen Mast was never threatened thereafter, collecting her sixth victory in 16 starts.
“I knew [Flutterby] wanted to make the lead, too, so I used her a little bit coming out of the gate to make the lead. I made the lead and she held it. I know she hadn’t won at seven furlongs but she did it very well. She’s a very nice filly,” Lopez said. “When she makes the lead like that, she’s tough to beat. She’s a really nice filly.”
Stonetastic ran seven furlongs in 1:23.22. Tiger Ride made a strong move into the stretch under Edgar Prado and held second, a half-length ahead of Engaginglee, who closed from last to take down third money.
Two of Stonetastic’s losses at seven furlongs came in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). “Maybe her thing is not rating. This year in the Breeders’ Cup we took her back. If she can shake loose, maybe that’s her thing. Who knows if she goes that fast, if she can go a mile or a one-turn mile?’ Breen said “But I think she proved herself [at seven furlongs] against a lot of nice horses today.”
Breen said he and Stoneway Farm have several options for their mare’s next start, including the seven-furlong $300,000 Madison (G1) at Keeneland April 9, the six-furlong $150,000 Carousel at Oaklawn Park April 14.
“Nothing’s set in stone just yet. Five weeks in between races is probably ideal, and that puts us right on the game plan for the undercard of the [Kentucky Derby],” said Breen, referring to the seven-furlong $300,000 Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs May 7.
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