October 1, 2022

Salty captures Gulfstream Park Oaks in stakes debut

Salty easily won her stakes debut in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) under Joel Rosairo on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at Gulfstream Park (c) Adam Coglianese Photography

Gary Barber, Baccari Racing Stable LLC and Chester Prince’s Salty lived up to her even-money favoritism on Saturday when running away with the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).

The Quality Road filly was making just her third lifetime start, and her first against winners, but easily prevailed by 4 1/4 lengths under jockey Joel Rosario.

Salty bumped hips with Jordan’s Henny when the gates opened and found herself near the rear of the pack as Nonna Bella set the pace through opening splits of :23.26 and :46.72. She kept out of trouble while five wide on the backstretch and continued her overland journey around the final turn.

Salty easily collared Jordan’s Henny, who had stuck her head in front of Nonna Bella past six furlongs in 1:10.77, and pulled away to complete 1 1/16 miles on Gulfstream Park’s fast main track in 1:42.91. She returned $4 for the win.

Tequilita proved best of the rest, rallying to take second by 1 1/2 lengths over Jordan’s Henny, who in turn had a neck to spare on Nonna Bella upon hitting the wire. Modacious, Conquest Sorceror, Spring Mist and Shezaprado completed the order of finish.

Salty is now 3-2-1-0 and has banked $180,370 lifetime. She opened her career under the tutelage of trainer Ian Wilkes at Gulfstream, finishing a neck second to Nonna Bella. Her five-wide, rallying effort in that contest drew the attention of both Casse and Barber, and the filly ended up being transferred to the former after Barber bought into her.

One month later, Salty split rivals and put in a four-wide run to break her maiden going seven furlongs at Gulfstream. She successfully stretched out in the Gulfstream Park Oaks and is now targeting the Kentucky Oaks (G1), having earned 100 points toward a starting berth in that May 5 affair. She will have to be supplemented to the race, however, as she is not currently nominated to the Run for the Lilies.

Bred in Kentucky by Seclusive Farm LLC and Prince Farm LLC, Salty is the first registered stakes winner out of the stakes-placed Dixie Union mare Theycallmeladyluck, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 runner-up Sheer Luck.

Salty’s second dam is Grade 3 vixen Vegas Prospector, and this female family also includes Grade 3-winning, Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1)-placed sire Robyn Dancer.

GULFSTREAM PARK OAKS QUOTES

Joel Rosario, jockey Salty, winner

“I thought that there would be some speed, and it was exactly how it happened. I got her going a little early because of the first wire. She responded very, very nice. The more you ride her the more she keeps giving it to you. I felt confident in the last turn when she was trying to get up and getting close to the leader.”

Mark Casse, trainer Salty, winner

“We were back a little farther than I thought we would be. You’re always worried when you think a filly would run two turns when you look at her physique and everything, but (jockey) Joel (Rosario) got her moving three-quarters of a mile out and that’s a long, sustained run – I was a little nervous about it. Even afterward, Joel said, ‘Maybe I moved a little early.’ But she’s extremely talented as everyone saw today. We’re excited just to have her.

“I was a little concerned and even Joel said he maybe moved a little quick. He didn’t realize how hot the pace was, but they were getting away from him. He put her in a drive from probably three-quarters of a mile out and that’s hard to do, especially with a filly making her first start around two turns. But that’s how good she is. The first time we breezed her down here, (son and assistant) Norman (Casse) called me and said, ‘This is a really good horse.’ I said, ‘I hope so.’

“We were impressed with her first start. She ran the same day that Classic Empire ran and that evening I called Gary (Barber) and I said, ‘I saw a filly that I really like run today,’ and I told him who and he said, ‘I liked her, too.’ We started pursuing her and Gary bought part of her with the current owners and breeder.”

Is the Kentucky Oaks next? “That’s the plan.”