Undone by a glacial pace in the Suwannee River (G3) last out, 8-5 favorite Rymska got a slightly more workable scenario in Saturday’s $200,000 Hillsborough (G2). All she needed was a split down the lane, and the Chad Brown mare burst through to spoil Hawksmoor’s retirement party at Tampa Bay Downs.
Hawksmoor, recently successful in the Endeavour (G3) over the course, was given this one last hurrah before visiting Kitten’s Joy. Not quick into stride, the 5-2 second choice still secured a comfortable lead through fractions of :25.13, :49.74, and 1:13.55 on the firm turf. Hawksmoor continued to show the way as far as midstretch, but Rymska was clearly full of run on the inside. Once Irad Ortiz Jr. threaded her through a gap, the race was over as Rymska drove to a two-length decision in 1:49.18 for 1 1/8 miles.
Rymska’s stablemate Onthemoonagain took the overland route from far off the pace and rallied boldly, but the gritty Hawksmoor salvaged second by a nose. The 13-1 Phantom Opening rounded out the superfecta.