July 14, 2024

Maryquitecontrary, trainer Mike Maker stay hot on Pegasus World Cup card

Maryquitecontrary wins the Inside Information Stakes (Photo by Lauren King/Coglianese Photos)

Maryquitecontrary was squeezed at the start and found herself trailing leaving the backside chute in Saturday’s $200,000 Inside Information (G2), but the early trouble couldn’t stop the four-year-old filly from rolling to a decisive win in the seven-furlong test for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park, her fifth consecutive win and sixth in seven career starts.

Under Luca Pacini, Maryquitecontrary improved position around the far turn, swung wide for the drive home and burst past her flailing opposition to win by 2 1/2 lengths. The second choice in a field of 10, she returned $7.20 after completing the course over a fast track in 1:23.64.

Colorful Mischief finished second and was followed by another longshot, Fire On Time, in third. Grade 1 winner Obligatory, the 4-5 favorite, received a few reminders to keep up down the backside but offered little in finishing a dull sixth.

This was the first graded stakes win for Maryquitecontrary, who races for owner-breeder Rodney Lundock and is trained by Joe Catanese III. In two prior stakes attempts, Maryquitecontrary beat fellow Florida-breds in the Sheer Drama S. last September and later beat open foes in the one-mile Rampart S. on Dec. 31.

“She keeps getting better and better. She’s a pleasure. We’ll keep finding races for her here,” Catanese said.

By First Dude, Maryquitecontrary was produced by Mary Kate ‘n Kelly, a Mecke full sister to Grade 2 winner Supah Blitz.

Trainer Mike Maker enjoyed a stellar afternoon at Gulfstream, saddling the top three finishers in the $200,000 William L. McKnight (G3) and the winners of the $150,000 Fred W. Hooper (G3) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1).

The venerable nine-year-old Red Knight led stablemates Value Engineering and Wicked Fast across the wire in the 1 1/2-mile McKnight. The 3-1 second choice in a field of 11, Red Knight rallied from last under Irad Ortiz Jr. to win by one length, while 2022 McKnight winner and 2.8-1 favorite Abaan faded to ninth after setting a pressured pace.

A homebred racing for Trinity Farm, Red Knight covered the 12 furlongs on firm ground in 2:25.11 and paid $8.60.

A New York-bred son of Pure Prize and the Skip Away mare Isabel Away, Red Knight notched earlier graded wins in the 2022 Kentucky Turf Cup (G2) and 2020 Sycamore (G3). His other three stakes scores include the 2022 Colonial Cup at Colonial Downs. Red Knight has now won 11 of 32 starts.

Endorsed made it two wins in a row at Gulfstream this winter after closing from midpack in the one-mile Fred Hooper over longshots Octane and Dean Delivers, while 19-10 favorite Miles D never factored in finishing seventh in the field of 12 older horses.

Victorious in a seven-furlong allowance on Dec. 22, Endorsed earned his first career stakes win by 2 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:35.67. A seven-year-old by Medaglia d’Oro, Endorsed is owned by Mark Breen.

Counting a third in the 2022 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) among his six prior stakes placings, Endorsed is the second stakes winner produced by his Grade 1-winning dam Dance Card. The Tapit mare was represented last year by Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and Forego (G1) winner Cody’s Wish.

Endorsed was bred in Kentucky by multiple Eclipse Award winner Godolphin.

Personal Best turned in a career best to take the $150,000 La Prevoyante (G3) for fillies and mares under Irad Ortiz Jr. as the 13-10 favorite in a field of seven.

Always traveling smoothly near midpack while awaiting her cue from Ortiz, Personal Best made a bid entering the stretch and turned in the best lake kick to win by a measured neck over 7-1 chance Transient. It was another three parts of a length back to pacesetter and morning line favorite Adventuring. Owned by breeder Joe Allen, Personal Best paid $4.60 after negotiating 1 1/2 miles on the turf in 2:26.04.

“I thought Irad rode her perfectly,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “There was a little speed in front of her and she was tracking really good. He said at the three-eighths pole, he was loaded. She has a little bit of a tendency to hang, but he just didn’t let her do that today.”

The La Prevoyante was the first career stakes win for the four-year-old daughter of Tapit, who has now won three of nine starts. All three wins have come over 1 1/4 miles or longer, including a maiden win last September at Kentucky Downs and an allowance at Aqueduct in November. Personal best finished third in her stakes debut, the Dec. 26 Tropical Park Oaks at Gulfstream, a race that was transferred off the turf and onto the synthetic Tapeta surface.

The Kentucky-bred Personal Best was reared by War Flag, a daughter of War Front who captured the 2017 Flower Bowl (G1).