First Dude Daughter Earns $25,000 FTBOA Florida-bred Bonus
BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Stuck on the rail behind a wall of horses with a quarter-mile to the finish, Maryquitecontrary and jockey Luca Panici found room between rivals at the top of the stretch and ran down Imonra inside the final furlong to win their second consecutive Rampart at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 30. Showing her affinity for the Hallandale Beach oval where the Florida-bred daughter of Double Diamond Farm’s First Dude has now won seven of nine starts, Maryquitecontrary defeated five other fillies and mares going a one-turn mile in the $150,000 Rampart.
Her $101,725 payday included a $25,000 Florida-bred win bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.
Sent to the post as the 6-5 favorite, Maryquitecontrary had only 8-5 second choice Nostalgic beat coming out of the backstretch chute as Florida-bred Dreaming of Snow set the early pace on the rail with Imonra to her outside in second.
Dreaming of Snow and Javier Castellano finished quarter-mile fractions of :24.53 and :47.97 and continued to show the way around the far turn with Imonra still to her outside. Maryquitecontrary advanced to race just behind them in third on the rail with Florida-bred Rosie’s Halo and Nostalgic also moving into contention outside of her.
Dreaming of Snow and Imonra came out of the turn together on the lead as Panici took Martyquitecontrary to their outside for a clear run to the wire. Imonra had a short lead passing the sixteenth pole but Maryquitecontrary found her best stride and shot to the lead to win by a length in 1:38.16 on the fast track. Imonra finished second, three lengths ahead of Unifying in third. Rosie’s Halo, Dreaming of Snow and Nostalgic completed the order of finish.
Maryquitecontrary paid $4.60 to win.
“The pace was pretty slow, especially the first quarter. She broke good and I decided to stay off the pace,” Panici said. “At the beginning of her career, she was learning. But now she has developed the experience. She’s very different and she feels very good.
“She showed more kick today than usual but I can’t complain. She’s special.”
Starting for the first time for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., Maryquitecontrary is a homebred for Rodney G. Lundock of Lowell, Fla., and was making her first start since finishing second to Three Witches in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney at Gulfstream on Oct. 7. The Rampart was her sixth start of the year and her second graded-stakes victory having won the Grade 3 Inside Information at Gulfstream in January.
Plesa said he left the race strategy to Panici, who has ridden her in all but one her her 12 career races.
“I told [Panici], ‘If you’re on the outside fence the whole way I’m not going to be mad at you. You’re on her, I’m not,’” Plesa said. “Needless to say, he was not on the outside. He rode her like a racehorse. He did a great job. She was the best horse today.”
She was also second to Goodnight Olive in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland in April and finished off the board in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss in July and in the Grade 1 Balerina in August, both at Saratoga.
The 4-year-old Maryquitecontrary has now won seven with three seconds while earning $599,805. She has four career stakes wins, all at Gulfstream, having also won the $65,000 Big Drama there in 2022.
She is out of Mary Kate ‘n Kelly, by Mecke who has produced four winners from five starters and five foals. She was bred back to First Dude in 2023.
Plesa said he was unsure whether Maryquitecontrary would attempt a title defense in the $200,000 Inside Information on Jan. 27.
“We’ll get her back to the barn and go over things and have a conversation with the owner and the jock, and the horse, and see what she says,” Plesa said. “She’s got the most important words to tell us.”
Return to the Dec. 30 issue of Wire to Wire