Rainbow Heir made his swan song a winning one with an authoritative victory in the $125,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint on Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup undercard.
Denied by a nose in the same race a year ago by Power Alert, Rainbow Heir was six lengths behind the dueling pair of Successful Native and favorite Pay Any Price at the quarter pole, but surged on by inside the final furlong to prove best under Irad Ortiz Jr. The final time for five-eighths on firm turf was :55.47.
A homebred racing for New Farm and trained by Jason Servis, the eight-year-old Rainbow Heir paid $8.60 as the 3-1 third choice in the field of 11. Oak Bluffs, a 35-1 chance, rallied for second, a neck ahead of Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) runner-up Richard’s Boy. Pay Any Price faded to eighth.
“He’s getting up there in years, but he’s heading up to Ocala [to start stud duties at Ocala Stud]. This is his last race. I think he’s a Breeders’ Cup horse, I don’t want him to go,” Servis said.
A nine-time stakes winner during his career, including the 2013 Jersey Shore (G3) and last fall’s $125,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship, Rainbow Heir concludes his racing days with a mark of 31-14-4-3, $804,395.
Bred in New Jersey, Rainbow Heir is by Wildcat Heir and out of the stakes-placed Rainbow Pride, by Prospectors Gamble.
In the $135,000 Ladies Turf Sprint, Girls Know Best led wire-to-wire after her closest pursuer, 5-2 favorite Blue Bahia, unexpectedly stumbled at the eighth pole and was abruptly taken up.
In a tussle with that rival entering the stretch, Girls Know Best edged clear again with that one out of the picture and withstood late rallies from longshots Just Talkin and Cherry Lodge to win by three parts of a length under Javier Castellano.
Owned by Brian Chenvert and trainer Eddie Kenneally, who claimed the daughter of Caleb’s Posse for $40,000 at Keeneland in October, Girls Know Best paid $13 after completing five furlongs in :56.45.
Girls Know Best won first time out for her new connections on dirt at Churchill Downs for a $50,000 tag, and then finished second in the $75,000 Abundantia on New Year’s Day in her turf debut over the course and distance.
“Her record was phenomenal, she was five-for-10 before I claimed her,” Kenneally said. “She had never run on grass and she’s extremely quick. She had been running three quarters on the dirt and I felt like if she took to the grass at five eighths, she could be very nice, so we got lucky. We’ve claimed some bad horses in the past, but fortunately we got a good one this time.”
Now possessing a record of 17-7-1-1, $211,274, Girls Know Best is a half-sister to Delta Downs Princess (G3) winner Now I Know. Both were reared by Now U Know, by Maria’s Mon.
Girls Know Best was bred in Kentucky by original owners Don Von Hemel and Todd Dunn.