BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Mike G. Rutherford’s Florida-bred Milieu, a half-sister 2018 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (Grade 1)-winner and champion female sprinter Shamrock Rose, circled the field on the far turn then took over at the top of the stretch to win a maiden special weight by three-quarters of a length at Gulfstream Park Sunday.
Ridden by Junior Alvarado from post 11 in the field of 12 fillies going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the synthetic course, the daughter of Empire Maker had one horse beat around the first turn as 40-1 longshot La Fantasma showed the way with a :23.76 first quarter-mile. La Fantasma continued to lead through a half-mile in :47.60 as Milieu advanced with purpose down the backstretch to get within striking distance with four furlongs to run. Peace Cruiser and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. went to the front coming out of the far turn but could not hold off Milieu and Alvarado, who took over at the top of the stretch to lead with authority through the finish.
Milieu finished in 1:43.17 with I’m a Sure Thing second, a length-and-a-half ahead of Lucky Combination in third. Isola (Ire), 5-2 favorite Lady Emily Kathryn, Peace Cruiser, Boltoro, Charging Lady, Madaket’s Arrow, La Fantasma, Cerchi and The Contessa completed the order of finish. Maman Joon (Ire) scratched off the also-eligble list.
Milieu, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, paid $11 to win and has now earned $74,778 in ten career starts with one second and a third. Rutherford purchased Milieu for $230,000 as a yearling at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Fall Yearling Sale.
Bred by Thomas and Lori Fackler in the name of their Best A Luck Farm LLC in Reddick, Fla., with Empire Maker Syndicate, Milieu is out of Slew’s Quality, by Elusive Quality.
In addition to Shamrock Rose, Slew’s Quality has produced multiple graded stakes-winning Florida-bred Loyalty, by Hard Spun; stakes-placed Florida-bred Bet On Mike, by Bionetti; and stakes-placed My Friends Beer, by Stay Thirsty. She has eight winners from nine starts and 11 foals including an unnamed yearling colt by Authentic. Slew’s Quality was bred to Yaupon and Jackie’s Warrior in 2023.
Return to the December 17 issue of Wire to Wire