Birdatthewire Flies to Victory in 2015 Forward Gal Stakes
Birdatthewire Flies to Victory in 2015 Forward Gal Stakes: Proving no stakes experience is required to make a successful jump to graded stakes company, closer Birdatthewire took advantage of a hot early pace and rallied to win the G2 Forward Gal run at seven furlongs on Gulfstream Park’s main track. The race was her first stakes attempt and win.
A three-year-old daughter of the deceased Summer Bird, Birdatthewire only recently broke her maiden at Churchill Downs for trainer Dale Romans and owner Forum Racing, LLC.
While Birdatthewire started from the back in this race as expected, Enchantress dueled up front with Ekaeti’s Phaeton and Seduire. Longshot Distinta and Birthatthewire’s stablemate Taylor S tracked those three closely as the front pack raced as a tightly knit group.
Heading to the top of the stretch, a tired Enchantress held on and continued to spar with Seduire on the inside. Ekaeti’s Phaeton kept fighting too, while By The Moon made her move going wide. Taylor S also remained close to the leaders.
But the early pace went deceptively fast (the track played slow the entire day) in fractions of 22.50, 45.26 and 1:11.62. Enchantress and Seduire faded towards the back. Birdatthewire circled the weary field and always looked like a winner turning for home, earning a final time of 1:24.92 under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. Ironically, the second place finisher in her maiden race Lassofthemohicans rallied late for second here too.
Birdatthewire rewarded value seekers by going off at odds of 12/1. According to the news section on Gulfstream Park’s official website, Ortiz knew his mount liked to close from behind.
“Why change her style? I just let her relax,” said Ortiz. “When we got to the quarter pole, I knew I had a lot of horse.”
The trainer agreed on the strategy for Birdatthewire and expected a hot pace to help.
From the same article, Romans stated “It looked like the race, if you handicapped it ahead of time, was going to be full of speed … I loved the fractions for (Birdatthewire).”
Unfortunately for Romans’ other entry Taylor S, a half sister to the highly regarded Liam’s Map, she finished third edging out Ekaeti’s Phaeton. The quick tempo hurt the Medaglia d’Oro filly’s chances as Taylor S lost a sprint race for the first time in three efforts. She also lost two prior route attempts.
“They both ran great races … Taylor S is a really good filly, too.”
For the win, Birdatthewire earned an 86 Beyer Speed Figure and 84 TimeformUS Speed Figure. She also scored 10 qualifying points for the G1 Kentucky Oaks in May, and considering the distance pedigree of Summer Bird on top and Wagon Limit (upset winner of the 1998 G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup) underneath, expect the connections to point in that direction.
Upstart Wins Holy Bull/Replay