R Holiday Mood determined winner of Hurricane Bertie Stakes
R Holiday Mood determined winner of Hurricane Bertie StakesR Holiday Mood battled gamely in the stretch to turn back determined runner-up Funny Sunny for a neck victory in the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G2) on Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
A three-time stakes winner, R Holiday Mood went right to the lead and showed courage late to earn her first career graded stakes victory in the Hurricane Bertie.
The four-year-old Trippi filly entered off another battle at Gulfstream Park on January 8, when she finished in a dead heat for first with Delightful Mary in the one-mile Ocala Stakes.
“She’s just a little battler,” winning rider John Velazquez said after the Hurricane Bertie. “She gives you everything she has every step of the way. I’m very proud of her.”
Funny Sunny rallied on the outside flank of R Holiday Mood and appeared to push her nose in front, but the winner would not be denied and fought back from the inside.
R Holiday Mood completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.85 on a track rated as fast for her fifth win from eight starts for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner-breeder E. Paul Robsham Stables. She is out of the Grade 3-winning Danzig mare Polish Holiday.
“I felt reasonably confident that she would run well today coming off the mile race,” Pletcher said. “That was a demanding race and the mile is about her limit, but she’s a big strong filly and came out of it well.
“I’d say if she comes out of this okay we’ll look at the next one, the Inside Information [Stakes (G2) on March 17],” Pletcher said. “The seven-eighths is just right for her.”
Her Smile, winner of the 2011 Prioress Stakes (G1), finished third as the 9-to-10 favorite.
by Mike Curry
R HOLIDAY MOOD (inside) WINS AT GULFSTREAM
Courtney Stafford/Coglianese Photos