HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Riding his first mount in almost two months, Edgard Zayas piloted Palm Beach Racing Partnership’s Josdesanimaux to victory in the $150,000 Florida Sire Stakes Jewel Princess division at Gulfstream Park.
Hungry for a win after sitting out seven weeks with a broken clavicle suffered in a spill on July 17, Zayas single-handedly willed Josdesanimaux home in the mile turf event, recovering from a poor start to catch the front-running Katie’s Kiss at the wire in a photo finish.
“I did get a little worried that I wasn't going to get there,” Zayas said. “But I felt good, I've been working for two weeks. I've been feeling good, and it felt even better to come back in the winner's circle.”
It appeared as if Stonestreet Stables’ Katie’s Kiss, fresh off a ½-length score in Gulfstream’s Summer Winds Stakes on Aug. 16, would have everything go her way in the Jewel Princess. The 3-year-old filly broke alertly under regular rider Tyler Gaffalione and went straight to the lead, as post-time favorite Josdesanimaux hopped at the start and found herself sixth in a field of seven. Katie’s Kiss, flanked early by Moment of Delight and Pursuing Fate, increased her advantage while under a strong hold after getting the first quarter mile in 24.93 seconds. She was 2 ½ lengths clear through a :50.18 second half, but rounding the far turn Josdesanimaux could be seen picking off runners one by one. With work to do in the stretch, Zayas scrubbed furiously as Katie’s Kiss began to tire. Josdesanimaux made up ground as the wire neared, and she got up just in time, stopping the clock in 1:42.46 seconds.
“There were a lot of horses moving around and it took them a while to give the break,” Zayas said of the start.“She started to get a little desperate and kind of leaned back a little bit when they gave the start and she broke a little bit slow. I just decided, now that I broke bad, that I would just lay behind the other horses and make one run, and it worked out good."
Josdesanimaux has now won four of five starts since transferring to trainer Chad Brown’s stable for her 3-year-old season, the only loss coming when the daughter of Leroidesanimaux stumbled at the start of a May 6 allowance at Belmont Park, unseating her rider. The Jewel Princess was the filly’s stakes debut. The $150,000 purse boosted her career earnings to $178,380.
Josdesanimaux paid $4.20 to win, while Katie’s Kiss returned $3.40 to place. Cardinal Cove, making her first start since January’s Sweetest Chant (G3), finished third, returning $2.60 to show. Sweet Madea, Pursuing Fate, Jamie’s Dancer and Moment of Delight completed the order of finish.