Under a typically heady Florent Geroux ride, Winter Quarter Farm’s Cambodia scored a new career high in Saturday’s $150,000 Gallorette S. (G3) at Pimlico. The Tom Proctor mare, who was coming off a trio of thirds in stakes, stalked and pounced to a handy two-length decision at odds of 9-2.
After the late scratch of classy pace factor Zipessa, front-running duties fell to 66-1 longshot Come to Mischief. Cambodia was in exactly the right spot – tracking the no-hoper in second through leisurely fractions of :24.63, :49.78, and 1:14.31. On Leave, the 5-2 second choice, was also well placed in a ground-saving third, while even-money favorite Elysea’s World wasn’t so fortunate at the rear.
Cambodia easily took over from the spent Come to Mischief entering the stretch and kept on motoring beyond recall. After clocking the mile in 1:38.42, the daughter of War Front sped her final sixteenth in :5.93 to complete the circuit in 1:44.35.
On Leave angled out down the lane, but couldn’t make a dent on the winner and settled for second. Rounding out the exacta for their sire War Front, On Leave is entitled to move forward off this comeback.
Elysea’s World did well in the circumstances to rally for third, missing the runner-up spot by only a half-length. Queen Caroline, in striking range throughout her outside trip, held fourth. Come to Mischief retreated to last of the octet.
Cambodia broke her maiden as a juvenile for Ben Colebrook, then returned from a 10-month layoff to win her first two starts for Proctor last fall. Upped in class at Fair Grounds, the five-year-old was a troubled third in the January 21 Marie G. Krantz Memorial, a close third to track record-setting Believe in Bertie in the February 25 Daisy Devine, and a belated third in the soggy Dahlia at Laurel last out. She has now bankrolled $181,746 from her 10-4-0-4 record.
Bred by Don M. Robinson and Maverick Productions Ltd., Cambodia is out of the Smart Strike mare Sassifaction, a winning half-sister to multiple South African champion Overarching. Sassifaction is a half to three other stakes winners, including Grade 3 turfer and multiple Grade 2-placed Temeraine.
Quotes from Pimlico
Winning trainer Tom Proctor on Cambodia: “From where she was at, I’d have been disappointed if she got beat. I had a perfect go, slow pace. It was nice to have it work out.”
Winning rider Florent Geroux: “She was very sharp from the gate. We in a great spot just off the horse on the lead. I kept her relaxed and turning for home she responded very well.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz on runner-up On Leave: “The ground is a little soft, but not bad. It’s good – not firm or soft. She had a perfect trip. She was on the inside saving all the ground. I think the winner had a better trip in the clear and I think that made all the difference.”
Robbie Medina, assistant to On Leave’s trainer Shug McGaughey: “Everything worked out all right. She was sitting in a good spot and he had a lot of horse underneath him. The winner had a jump on them. They were going pretty slow. He was going to try and go inside but he angled her out. Second best. First race since October so this is very encouraging.”
Trainer Chad Brown on Elysea’s World, third as the even-money favorite: “Just a bad trip: last, no pace. She came rolling late. But it’s impossible to win from there when they go that slow. She would have had to be superman.”
Jockey Joel Rosario on Elysea’s World: “I think it was the slow pace and I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I saved a little ground; as much as I could. It was a tough run and she tried, but with how the race was run, it didn’t set up for her too much.”