Alma Rosa romps to White Clay Creek win
“You the trainer?” Bernardo Lopez was asked.
“I think so,” he replied with a big smile on his face.
Truth is, though, he knew so, and he also knew that he has a pretty nice filly on his hands. Alma Rosa, a two-year-old Sharp Azteca filly he trains for Gelfenstein Farm, romped to a 3 1/4-length victory in this afternoon’s $100,000 White Clay Creek Stakes, the second-to-last stake of the Delaware meet, to stamp herself one to watch going forward.
“I’ve had her since she was like a baby,” Lopez said. “She’s always done everything perfect. She makes it very easy to do my job because she’s very good, right?”
Jockey Jaime Rodriguez, running away with the Delaware riding title for the second consecutive year, put Alma Rosa in a perfect spot early, just a length or two back of early leaders Crypto Mama and Girl Trouble. Those two led the nine-horse herd through an opening quarter-mile in 23.85 seconds and a half in 48.01.
“Jaime is a very good jockey and a very good person,” Lopez said. “I’m so happy.”
Rodriguez gave his mount her cue midway around the far turn, and as the field straightened for home, she came between rivals and bid between rivals. In the lane, she gradually drew away to a 3 ¼-length victory in 1:39.95 for one mile on a muddy sealed main track.
Alma Rosa now has two wins from four outings and earnings of $147,500.
But it may be her two runner-up efforts that tell you even more. She was second on debut to Munny’s Gold, who received an insanely high 101 Beyer Speed Figure for her 14-length triumph that day. And last time out, in the one-mile Sorority, she finished second to Vedareo, another promising sort.
But today, against a more modest group, she ran to her 6-5 post time odds. Early leader Crypto Mama held second, while Girl Trouble, who was second early before dropping back to fifth, rallied again for third.
Alma Rosa paid $4.60 to win, and the exacta returned $14.20 on a one-dollar wager.
The future looks bright for Alma Rosa, certainly, but Lopez said he wasn’t sure what it might include.
“Let me talk with the owner [Gelfenstein Farm],” he said. “So many possibilities. Let me talk with the owner and make the decision – whatever I need to do.”
Lopez said he leaves tomorrow for Ocala – one sure sign of the approaching end of the Delaware meet – where he’ll see to the Gelfenstein Farm babies.
“So I do all the babies [for Gelfenstein],” the trainer said. “And I always have five or six for running at Tampa and work with the babies.”
Gelfenstein campaigned Sharp Azteca to nearly $900,000 in career earnings, their top earner in the last 20 years, and now that runner is the sire of Alma Rosa, their top earner this year.
NOTES Trainer Cal Lynch and jockey Mychel Sanchez teamed up to win two on the card, winning a first-level allowance with Liscolvin and a starter/optional claiming event with Flat Out Flying. It was Flat Out Flying’s fourth win in five starts… The final stake of the meet takes place Saturday, the Rocky Run for two-year-olds…