Dorothy Matz’ homebred filly Tequilita will close her career with a win, having captured Saturday’s G3 Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream Park by about two lengths as the 5-2 second choice. The 4-year-old daughter of Union Rags will be bred in the spring, likely to Street Sense, according to trainer Michael Matz. Ridden by Luis Saez, Tequilita completed a mile over the sloppy and sealed main track in 1:37.62, her fifth lifetime victory from 19 starts.
“She broke so sharp, she was in such a good spot I just wanted to protect it,” Saez said. “I thought at the three eighths pole I was done, but I kept asking her and she gave me the kick, she just took off down the stretch. I know she likes the track this way, as she’s won easily on this surface before.”
Breaking cleanly away from the gate in the seven-horse field, Tequilita raced outside Tapa Tapa Tapa, who set fractions of :23.26, :45.85 and 1:11.25. Entering the stretch, Saez urged Tequilita past Tapa Tapa Tapa and had more than enough to hold off Electric Forest.
“She’s better if she lays a little bit off the pace and then just keeps running at them,” said Matz. “Sometimes if she gets a lead she’ll just kind of wait a little bit. [Jockey Luis Saez] has ridden her a bunch of times and he’s done really well with her. We’re going to breed her this spring [to Street Sense] and my wife said let’s finish up in Florida here and thank God we ended up on a good note because there was a little bit of a lull there for a while. I think it was basically my fault. After her 3-year-old season, she acts and she trains like she could stretch out but she just wants one turn. I think there’s another race down here for her. This is her best distance, a one-turn mile. If it is her last race, then she went out on a winning note.”
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Tequilita is out of the Grade 2-winning Mr. Greeley mare Sangrita. Her record stands at 5-4-2 from 19 starts with earnings of $660,000.
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