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Gina Romantica flies late to win $135,000 Riskaverse S.

August 25, 2022

Gina Romantica showed an amazing turn of foot in the final furlong to give the 3-year-old Into Mischief filly her first stakes victory in the $135,000 Riskaverse S. Thursday at Saratoga.

She is the 18th stakes winner this year for her sire, who is poised to take the top spot on the 2022 General Sire list. With $17,413,813 in progeny earnings, he sits just $150,000 away from leading the list.

Gina Romantica, who was making her first start on the grass and just her second of the year, was far off the pace early, trailing some 10 lengths after a half-mile. She managed to make up a bit of ground on the turn and looked to have clear running at the top of the stretch, but the hole closed up, leaving her behind a wall of horses in seventh with just a furlong to go.

With nowhere to run, she was taken six-wide by her jockey Flavien Prat, and once in the clear, simply blew by the field to win by 1 ¼-lengths in 1:35.94 on the firm turf.

“I was traveling well and obviously she came from the dirt so you don’t know how much she can accelerate on the grass,” said Prat. “It felt like the grass has a bit of give so she did it well. She showed a good turn of foot for the first time on the grass.”

Owned by Peter Brant, Gina Romantica has earned $156,190 with three wins from five starts. She was a $1,025,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale buy. Her dam Special Me had an abbreviated race career but has been a stellar broodmare, producing the likes of millionaire Santa Anita H. (G1) winner Gift Box, Prioress S. (G2) winner Stonetastic, and multiple graded stakes winner Special Forces. Special Me produced a full brother to Gin Romantica this year.