Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s homebred Pure Class split horses in the run for home and was a length-and-a-half the best under the wire to win his stakes debut in the $110,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore, giving jockey Paco Lopez his third win and second stakes victory of the day.

Pure Class defeated seven other 3-year-old Florida-breds over seven furlongs to earn a $70,000 first-place check that included a $10,000 win bonus for being FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes eligible.

Saybrook and Snowname went at each other on the lead down the backstretch as Lopez and Pure Class bided their time between horses in fifth less than two lengths back.

Saybrook and Snowname finished the first quarter-mile in :22.32 before Saybrook got clear around the far turn. Jigsaw took up the chase midway around the bend but could not keep up as Saybrook finished the half-mile in :45.31 and was well clear Sugar Boy in second coming out of the turn. Pure Class was still two-and-a-half lengths behind Saybrook at the top of the stretch but began to quickly make up ground inside the final furlong, eventually winning by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:23.77. Sugar Boy finished second, a length faster than Everdoit in third. Saybrook, Jigsaw, Banded Rocket, Squints and Snowname finished in that order.

Trained by David Fawkes, Pure Class was let go with 7-1 odds coming off of a two-length allowance score at Gulfstream on Jan. 26 and paid $16.20 to win.

The consistent son of The Big Beast improved to three wins and three seconds in seven starts with earnings of $176,140. His only finish out of the top three came two starts back after being pinched back at the start against Florida-bred allowance horses at Gulfstream on Dec. 31.

Pure Class is out of the stakes-placed mare I’mclassyandsassy, by Master Command, making him a full brother to 2023 Andy Guest-winning Florida-bred Sassy Beast and multiple stakes-placed Florida-bred Big and Classy.  I’mclassyandsassy has produced seven starters, all-winners, from nine foals. She has an unnamed 2-year-old filly by The Big Beast, an unnamed yearling colt by Violence and was bred to Girvin in 2023.

I’mclassyandsassy was an $85,000 purchase by Ocala Stud at the 2022 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.


Lopez Wins Third Florida Cup Race As Charlie’s Wish Upsets Distaff Turf

Florida-bred Charlie’s Wish – SV Photography

Jockey Paco Lopez continued his hot streak with his fourth victory of the day and third Florida Cup score on Charlie’s Wish in the $110,000 Pleasant Acres Distaff Turf. Charlie’s Wish upset the mile-and-one-sixteenth Distaff at odds of 6-1 while earning $70,000, including the $10,000 win bonus for being eligible to the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes.

The field of six Florida-bred fillies and mares were led Baby Steps and Daniel Centeno around the clubhouse turn with Time Passage in close pursuit in second. After a :23.61 quarter-mile, Baby Steps extended her lead on Time Passage to four lengths heading down the backstretch as Charlie’s Wish saved ground on the rail in a joint third with last year’s Distaff Turf-winner Sweet Dani Girl.

Charlie’s Wish and Mohawk Trail closed in on Baby Steps midway on the second turn but Baby Steps fought them off to maintain an advantage at the top of the stretch. Lopez took Charlie’s Wish to the two path, passing Baby Steps and holding off Mohawk Trail to win by a half-length in 1:40.95.

Baby Steps crossed the wire three lengths back in third with Sweet Dani Girl fourth. Prettykeen was fifth and Time Passage sixth. Alexa’s Dream, Dream Concert and Frosty O Toole were scratched.

Charlie’s Wish paid $14.60 in winning for the first time since taking the $100,000 Azalea by nearly five lengths going seven furlongs on the Gulfstream Park main track in July.

Trained by David Fawkes, Charlie’s Wish is owned by Royalight Racing LLC and improved to four wins with five seconds and three thirds in 14 starts with earnings of $296,474.

By Double Diamond Farm stallion First Dude, Charlie’s Wish is out of the Werblin mare Superior Sarah and was bred by Three Gin Guys Stable. Charlie’s Wish is the only stakes winner for Superior Sarah, who has two winners from four starters and six foals. Superior Sarah has an unraced 3-year-old filly, Sarahs Dream, by Big Drama and a unnamed yearling filly by Rushie. She was bred to Pleasant Acres Stallions’ Magic On Tap in 2024.

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