Graceful Heart had seemingly nowhere to run at the top of the Tampa Bay Downs turf course stretch, but the 3-year-old daughter of Bodemeister found her way through horse to score a three-quarter length maiden special weight victory on Sunday afternoon.
Through the first seven furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile contest, Graceful Heart still had just one horse beat in the ten-horse field. Entering the stretch, jockey Gary Boulanger tried to find running room to the inside, but was forced to go four wide and split horses. Graceful Heart did her part, exploding in the final furlong to snatch the win in 1:43.44 (VIDEO
Out of Heart of Grace, the winner is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Edison. She was bred in Florida by Destiny Oaks of Ocala and sold to her owner John Oxley for $400,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearlings sale.
Bodemeister's first crop of 3-year-olds have won four races over the past weekend alone, led by O Dionysus, who took Laurel's $75,000 Miracle Wood S. for his second black type win. The WinStar stallion ranks in the Top 10 among sophomore sires by winners, stakes winners and progeny earnings.