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Still In Fashion

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 1/5/2011 2:16:25 PM

The term ‘old hat’ can mean repeated too often, a stock answer or out of fashion but for our purposes today the subject will be the opening day stakes at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday, the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes at 6 furlongs.

A cozy cast of a half dozen sophomore fillies will pit skills and they come from outposts like Delaware, Tampa, Del Mar, Monmouth, Penn National and Woodbine so button up and let’s smoke out a winner.

From the outside in, Roxy Gap is trying to do exactly what the winner of this race did last year, and that’s build on an unbeaten record.

Last year Richiegirlgonewild did just that making in three in a row but taking her 10 rivals flag fall to that’s all in 1:11.86 with a 78 Beyer.

Roxy Gap hails from the powerful Melnyk Stables and she will be making her first start on the dirt after cashing on the Woodbine synthetic twice and winning her last at a mile on the grass.

She has also kept some classy company. The horse that ran second to her in her July finale won a $127,000 stakes next out, then was 2nd a nose in a similar priced stakes when nailed on the wire.

Roxy has legit speed but doesn’t need the lead to win.

Quantum Miss had trouble in her debut, graduated by over 5, and then freaked by 16 in her stakes debut. She is in the good hands of Anthony Dutrow, brings the top last race and career Beyer of 94 to the party and looks like the real deal.

Pomeroys Pistol has trained lightly since running third in an N1X allowance in Jersey in October. Pistol might be firing blanks this time.

Final Mesa will be out to atone for the 8-5 flop as chalk. She had won her first 3 starts, 2 in stakes, but was bothered in the Grade 3 Sorrento at Del Mar and faltered at crunch time.

Her trainer Wesley Ward is excellent with young horses; her rider Joel Rosario is the top guy in California and improving hourly.

Love the fact she came here early and has several works on the strip and she has a right to have a nice career as kin Uncle Camie won a Grade 3 himself and banked nearly $325,000.

It’s Me Mom was shocked as the 4-5 chalk in Tampa last time, her first on the conventional dirt. Prior to that race she did something you don’t see everyday as she improved on the Beyer scale in every single race after the debut. Would expect her to be put on the lead, as she has :21 and small change speed.

On the rail comes Mis Vizcaya, who has lost all three of her stakes attempts but was flattered when the winner of her last race repeated December 16 at Aqueduct in a $57,000 stakes.

This game is all about visualization and this is the way I see it.

It’s Me Mom will make the top and don’t be shocked if she clears off. Final Mesa, Pomeroys Pistol and Quantum Leap will take up the chase with the rail horse trailing and Roxy Gap tracking the action.

At the top of the lane, Mom will start to feel the pressure and bow out of it. Quantum Miss will briefly have the lead with Final Mesa at her throat. And Roxy Gap will be getting seriously involved.

As they approach the wire, Final Mesa, the third choice on the morning line, starts to inch away and Roxy Gap garners second with Quantum Leap completing the trifecta.

Here’s hoping all open the Gulfstream meet with a winner and have great luck gambling in 2011.

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