Filly Earns $25,000 FTBOA Florida-bred Win Bonus


Florida-bred Mystic Lake appeased her many backers Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, galloping to an easy three-length victory in the $75,000 Gasparilla as the odds-on favorite in the seven-furlong test. In addition to earning the winner’s share of the Gasparilla purse, the dark bay or brown filly also picked up a $25,000 Florida-bred win bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association for owners C2 Racing Stable LLC and Stefania Farms LLC.

Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. and ridden by Edgard Zayas from post one in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies, Mystic Lake started quickly and was never seriously threatened in winning her first career black-type race.

She had a length lead leaving the backstretch chute and extended that margin to a length-and-a-half on second-running longshot Corinth on the outside with Gorgeous Girl third between horses as finished a quarter-mile in :22.98. Under a motionless Zayas, Mystic Lake stretched her lead to two lengths around the turn as Corinth remained determined on the rail in second with Georgeous Girl to her outside in third.

Mystic Lake raced down the stretch with little concern before Gorgeous Girl made a late run to get within three-quarters of a length to finish second with Corinth another two lengths back in third. Florida-breds Genuine Peril and Girvin’s Princess were fourth and fifth respectively followed by D’lightful Summer and Runaway Diva. Copper Bound was scratched.

The final time for the seven furlongs was 1:24.69 on the fast track and Mystic Lake paid $3.60 to win at odds of 4-5.

“She took the lead and we never looked back,” Zayas said. “She might have been stopping a little late, but she went quick early and the track was a little deep. All I had to do was hold on, and she kept trying even when (Gorgeous Girl) came up on the outside.”

Joseph said he has considered Mystic Lake a talent from the beginning.

“We’ve thought a lot of her all along and we figured that first start just wasn’t her day,” Joseph said from Gulfstream Park. “She’s a very honest filly and this shows she can get seven furlongs. I’ll talk it over with Mark [Cornett, the owner of C2 Racing Stable] and come up with a game plan from here. I think she’ll go turf, too.”

It was the second career victory from five starts for Mystic Lake, who has a second and a third with earnings of $92,446.

After breaking her maiden in her second career start over six furlongs on the synthetic main track at Woodbine in September, Mystic Lake graduated to finish second to A Little Frisky in the $140,000 Glorious Song going seven furlongs on synthetic at Woodbine on Oct. 15. In her previous race, she remained on the Woodbine main track to finish third in the Grade 3 Mazarine won by Witwatersrand going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on Nov. 4.

Mystic Lake is by Mo Town out of the unraced Salty Soul, by Itsmyluckyday and was bred in Florida by Peggy Constanzo. Mystic Lake is the only foal out of Salty Soul.

She is a two-time graduate of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company having first sold for $3,500 to Tom McCrocklin, agent from Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield consignment at the 2022 October Yearling Sale. McCrocklin then pinhooked her back through last year’s March Sale where Turf Express Racing Partners selected her for $130,000.

Return the Jan. 13 issue of Wire to Wire