A field of six was whittled down to three horses entering the gate for the $100,000 Any Limit, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park, which set up a duel between eventual winner 3-1 Launch over 1-5 beloved favorite Florida-bred R Harper Rose.

Edgard Zayas’ mount R Harper Rose set the pace throughout the race with Launch positioned within striking distance throughout the backstretch by her jockey David Egan. Turning for home Launch began to make her move passing the leader. R Harper Rose surged back momentarily to try to regain the lead, as Launch mounted a run pulling away to win by a length-and-three-quarters. Finishing last, Chi Chi raced off the pace and did not launch a bid toward the leaders.

Launch spent most of 2023 in England and Ireland producing a second and two thirds before being shipped stateside, where she won a maiden special weight at Delaware Park on Oct. 18. She followed that victory up by a second in the black-type Glitter Woman Stakes on Jan. 7 at Gulfstream Park.

Her last out at Gulfstream was on Feb. 14 where she led the field at every point of call to win a six-and-a-half-furlong allowance optional claimer by a neck. Luckily for her owners, she was not claimed for the $75,000 price tag.

Launch is by Omaha Beach out of a Speightstown mare Spark. She was bred by Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC., and is owned by Amo Racing USA.

The final time was 1:10.90, far off the track record of 1:08.12 set by Florida-bred champion Big Drama in 2011. Runaway Diva and Amor Fati were scratched by their trainers just after 10 a.m. followed by a late scratch for Candy Gray at about 3:30 p.m., the other Joseph Jr. trained horse in the race.

Saffie Joseph Jr. trained R Harper Rose – who captured the Grade 2 Forward Gal on the Gulfstream oval in her 2024 debut Feb. 3 – was seeking her fifth victory in as many starts around one turn. Previously, the Khozan filly’s only loss came in her only start around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile Florida Sire Stakes My Dear Girl.

As runner-up, R Harper Rose earns an FTBOA Florida-bred bonus incentive of $6,000 for her owners Avrill Racing LLC and Two Eight Racing, while Florida-bred Chi Chi, the third-place finisher, earned a $4,000 bonus for her effort for Sam Wilensky.

R Harper Rose along with Honey Dijon will be honored on April 15 at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association Gala as co-champion two-year-old fillies for their stellar performances in the Florida Sire Stakes series. R Harper Rose won the Florida Sire Stakes Susan’s Girl over Honey Dijon. Honey Dijon returned the favor besting R Harper Rose in the Florida Sire Stakes My Dear Girl. R Harper Rose was bred by the late Sally J. Andersen in Ocala and Honey Dijon was bred by Brad and Misty Grady and races under Brad’s silks as owner.

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