It was down to the wire March 2 for Stronach Stables’ homebred Holy Helena, who won by a head and defended her title in the $150,000 The Very One Stakes (G3T) at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, the 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper broke well under Irad Ortiz Jr. for the 1 3/16-mile test, settling in third behind leader Ickymasho and Lafta.
Tracking the pace on the outside, Holy Helena saved ground on the far turn as Ickymasho led the way through fractions of :23.89, :49.31, and 1:13.81 through six furlongs.
Running just off the inside rail, Holy Helena inched forward and pulled to within a head of Lafta as they entered the final turn. Asked for more by Ortiz at the quarter pole, Holy Helena moved out into the two path and put away Lafta before driving hard to the front to challenge Ickymasho.
Neck and neck in deep stretch, Holy Helena dug in with renewed effort and refused to yield, beating Ickymasho by a head in a final time of 1:54.20 over firm turf.
“She had only run four weeks ago a mile and a half on soft turf, but she’s a good doer, especially for a filly,” said Jerkens. “She had three decent works in between her last race, and she handled it well. I think she looks terrific physically, so I was very confident today, I really was.”
Read the full article on https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/232327/holy-helena-lands-gulfstreams-the-very-one