Valedictorian goes gate to wire in Suwannee River S. (G3)
February 9, 2019
Temple City’s 5-year-old daughter Valedictorian got her first graded stakes win and third black type victory overall with a front-running score in Saturday’s $150,000 Suwannee River S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Valedictorian has been one of Temple City’s best of his 21 stakes horses over the past three years, winning 10 times and placing in 18 of 24 starts while earning $475,125 for Epic Racing.
When no one else wanted the lead, Tyler Gafflione sent Valedictorian straight to the front. After a half-mile in :51.88, she had a one-length lead with no real pressure from any of her foes. The pace quickened on the turn, and Valedictorian kicked into high gear in upper stretch and was never threatened the rest of the way, winning by 2 1/2-lengths. After getting the final furlong in an incredible 11 seconds, she finished the 1 1/8-miles on the firm turf in 1:50.12.
“I put her in front,” said Gaffalione. “Nobody went with me, so I took a nice little hold. She relaxed and had her ears up the whole way. When I asked her to run, she really exploded. She had everything her own way today.”
Valedictorian was bred by John Bowers, Jr. and is out of the Smart Strike mare Smart N Classy, who was also a graded stakes winner on the turf.