Tonalist’s Shape Dominates Filly Rivals In Hollywood Wildcat

Tonalist‘s Shape scored a dominating victory in Friday’s $75,000 Hollywood Wildcat at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., bolstering her credentials for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) while successfully negotiating two turns for the first time..

The Hollywood Wildcat, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies, was the first of five stakes to be run over the weekend at Gulfstream Park, including the $100,000 Musical Romance, the $75,000 Powder Break and the $75,000 Roar on Saturday’s 11-race program with a 12:45 p.m. start.

Tonalist’s Shape, a multiple graded-stakes winner around one turn, rebounded from an off-the-board finish in her first try around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) March 28, scoring by 3 ¾ lengths under Irad Ortiz Jr.

“Last time was a mystery. It was a slow pace and she was wide, but that’s an excuse and in this game an excuse is easy to make. She had to come and do it today,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “Everything pointed that we had to give her a go. If she got beat today, we were wrong. For her to justify herself and come back to show what she’s capable of, we’re very thankful for that.”

Tonalist’s Shape, the 1-2 favorite in a field of six 3-year-old fillies, broke well to obtain an outside stalking position behind Cheermeister, a multiple-graded stakes winner trying dirt for the first time, and a pressing Dream Maria, who contested the pace through fractions of 24.64 and 48.36 seconds for the first half mile. Tonalist’s Shape was sent three-wide entering the far turn and took over the lead on the turn into the homestretch as Dream Marie continued to fight along the inside and Pleasant Orb rallied on the outside. Tonalist’s Shape kept her momentum going in the middle of the sloppy track and drew away to a comfortable victory.

“I had a perfect trip. I just followed instructions. Saffie is a great trainer and he does a great job. She broke good and put me in a good position. I just sat third in the clear and when I asked her, she was there for me,” Ortiz said. “After she made the lead, she didn’t do too much. When she felt the other horse coming up beside her, she gave me a little something more.”

Dream Marie held second under Rajiv Maragh, a half-length ahead of Pleasant Orb and Joe Bravo.

Tonalist’s Shape ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.57 to collect her sixth victory in seven starts that fits well into her trainer’s schedule for making the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

“That’s what’s great about this race, it give us seven weeks to her next race and then seven weeks to the Oaks,” Joseph said.

The daughter of Tonalist piled up Oaks qualifying points with impressive victories in the seven-furlong Forward Gal (G3) and the mile Davona Dale (G2) during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet. Sent to post as the 9-5 favorite for her first race around two turns in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, Tonalist’s Shape came up empty in a seventh-place finish after racing five-wide on both turns. The daughter of Tonalist was undefeated prior to her Gulfstream Park Oaks disappointment.

The Kentucky-bred filly, who is owned by Slam Dunk Racing, Legacy Ranch Inc. and Doug Branham, won her Sept. 28 debut at Gulfstream and an Oct. 20 first-level optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West prior to winning the one-turn mile Hut Hut Stakes by nine lengths on the Nov. 30 opening-day program of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet. She went on to win the Forward Gal and Davona Dale before tasting defeat for the first time in the Gulfstream Oaks. Swiss Skydiver, who won the Gulfstream Oaks, went on the win the May 1 Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn.

The post Tonalist’s Shape Dominates Filly Rivals In Hollywood Wildcat appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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