Speightstown's Almond Roca sets record in Sandpiper S.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Almond Roca set a stakes record in Saturday's Sandpiper S. for 2-year-old fillies at Tampa Bay Downs, finishing the six furlongs in 1:10.01 and winning by 9 1/4-lengths.

The victory was the first stakes win for the Speightstown filly, who had broken her maiden by four lengths Sept. 29 over the Laurel Park turf course. Speightstown now has 14 stakes winners this year, while his progeny earnings have capped the $7.8 million mark.

Saturday's race was never a contest after the chestnut filly hit the front at the top of the stretch, when she rapidly pulled clear and widened her margin all the way to the wire.

“It feels like she is still learning a couple of things, but she responds well about everything,” jockey Pablo Morales said. “I could feel she was moving her legs pretty fast. I was hoping we could drop in a little from the outside, but I just had so much horse all the way around and on the turn I was just sitting easy. 

Trainer Graham Motion said a return engagement at Tampa on Jan. 20 for the $125,000 Gasparilla S. is a possibility. 

Almond Roca was bred in Kentucky by Chadds Ford Stable and is owned by Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Moss. Her dam Styler is a half-sister to Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Giacomo and multiple Grade 1 winner Tiago.
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