Olorda leads Brown trifecta in The Very One

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

March 5th, 2016

Chad Brown-trained horses comprised half of the six-horse field, but all of the top three placings, in Saturday's $150,000 The Very One for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park. Not only did Olorda defeat odds-on favored stablemate Dacita and another Chilean import, Guapaza, in wire-to-wire fashion, she did so stylishly in course record time of 1:51.54 for 1 3/16 miles on a very firm turf.

Sent to the front from post 6 by Julien Leparoux, Olorda carved out fractions of :22.98, :47.10, and 1:10.65. After putting away Quiet Kitten around the far turn, Olorda continued to hold on to a one-length lead in mid-stretch before Dacita, sent off at 7-10, began to whittle away the margin in the final yards. At the wire, the 7-2 Olorda held on to win by a neck. Owned by Martin Schwartz, Olorda paid $9.20.

Guapaza, making her U.S. debut, lagged more than 10 lengths behind at one point and made a mild rally for third. She was three parts of a length behind Dacita and a neck ahead of Al's Gal. Quiet Kitten and outsider Kitzys Rocket completed the order of finish.

"You can't get better than that," said Brown's assistant George Abreu. "They have all been training very well."

Olorda's time virtually tied the North American record for the distance. Toonerville established the record in winning a division of the 1976 Bougainvillea H. at Hialeah, clocking 9 1/2 furlongs in 1:51.40. Races were not timed in hundredths of a second at the time and fractional times for that particular race were not available. That race was also recognized as a world-record performance.

Bred in Germany by Gestut Berwangerhof, Olorda made five starts prior to her importation, winning last year's Prix Vanteaux (G3) at Longchamp and placing in the Prix Saint-Alary (G1) over the same course. However, she went unplaced in all three appearances in North American last year, finishing 11th in the Belmont Oaks (G1), fourth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and 12th in the Matriarch (G1).

Leparoux referred to the winner as a "grinder" and a "one-paced filly" in post-race comments, perhaps suggesting she might have a more difficult time in the future under a more demanding pace scenario. She is a four-year-old daughter by Lord of England and out of the Desert King mare Oligarchica, making her a full sister to the Italian classic-placed Oil of England. Olorda's record now stands at 9-3-0-2, $200,447.

Dacita, a multiple Group 1 winner in Chile, was one of only two fillies to have beaten turf mare champion Tepin last season, taking that one's measure by a head in the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga. However, she didn't handle softish ground in her only other U.S. attempt when ninth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). She appeared to handle Saturday's fast ground well and will move forward in her next appearance.

Guapaza was an effective third in her U.S. debut. However, this was the fourth time she had finished behind Dacita in as many attempts going back to their days in Chile. She apparently hasn't closed the gap enough on that rival.

(Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)