William Parsons and David Howe’s homebred Summersault surprised the heavy favorite Olorda in Saturday’s Grade 3 Orchid Stakes, running her down in the stretch to win by about three-quarters of a length on the wire. Trained by Mark Hennig, the 5-year-old daughter of Rock Hard Ten covered 11 furlongs over Gulfstream’s firm turf course in 2:12.24, earning her first graded stakes victory under jockey Paco Lopez.
Heavy favorite Olorda broke on top in the backstretch, but the French import Maquette immediately took over the lead going around the far turn for the first time. Maquette sped through the early part of the race while fighting with jockey Jose Ortiz, setting fractions of :23.47, :46.12 and 1:10.54 with a two-length lead. Olorda seemed content to track from second, with Quiet Kitten chasing in third. It was another five or so lengths back to Summersault, with Temple Fur bringing up the rear of the five-mare field.
Approaching the far turn for the second time, the field began to condense behind Maquette as Olorda moved up to challenge the leader. Turning for home, Olorda took over the lead just as Summersault was able to get through along the rail. Summersault angled out at the head of the lane, and closed with a big rush down the center of the track to overtake Olorda, besting her by about three-quarters of a length on the wire. Olorda had to settle for second in front of Quiet Kitten in third and Temple Fur in fourth.
Bred in New York, Summersault is out of a daughter of Smart Strike. The mare had won her last two starts in a row, both over the Gulfstream turf, so the Orchid made her third consecutive victory as well as her first graded one. Overall, Summersault boasts a record of six wins from 22 starts, with earnings of over $ 370,000.
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