HALLANDALE BEACH, FL—Trainer Georgina Baxter has formed a very special bond with R Adios Jersey, the multiple-stakes winning Florida-bred scheduled to run in Saturday’s Grade 3 Princess Rooney at Gulfstream Park.

The $200,000 Princess Rooney, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, is a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ Challenge Race that offers the winner a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint set for Nov. 4 at Santa Anita. Also available to the registered Florida-breds, is a $25,000 win bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.

Baxter not only trains R Adios Jersey, she also proudly serves as the strapping 5-year-old mare’s daily exercise rider.

“The first moment I set eyes on her, I loved her,” Baxter said. “She just oozed class, and she still oozes class. A very underrated ingredient in horse racing is love. She loves to be loved. She’s full of carrots, apples and candy. We love her and she loves us loving her. She thrives on that.”

The bond between Baxter and R Adios Jersey only strengthens each morning when they take to the track at Gulfstream Park.

“It always feels like she’s going slower than she actually is going because she’s got a big, big stride. I tell the owner, ‘She eats the ground,’” Baxter said. “She’s got this really big stride. She’s big to gallop. When horses grow when you get on them and ride them, that’s really a good sign. She’s big already, but my experience as a rider is when a horse gets big when you get on them, that’s a really good sign.”

R Adios Jersey has earned just shy of $375,000 for Averill Racing LLC, ATM Racing and Jayson Werth and has good reason to puff up when she goes to the track.

The daughter of Ocala Stud stallion Adios Charlie has won half of her 14 starts, including four stakes, while employing a high turn of speed and a strong measure of determination.

R Adios Jersey stopped a rare string of second and third-place finishes last time out in the $90,000 Big Drama, in which she opened up early and drew off to an eye-catching six-and-a-quarter-length victory.

“She was like the old R Adios Jersey last time,” Baxter said. “We changed a few things up.”

R Adios Jersey raced for the first time without blinkers in the seven-furlong stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares.

“This filly has the heart of a lioness. One of the partners and I wanted to take the blinkers off, because she’s brave enough as it is,” Baxer said.

Edwin Gonzalez, who rode R Adios Jersey for the first time in the Sheer Drama, has the return call.

“She’s got a good shot. Everything has to go our way. Edwin gave her the perfect ride last time. He says he has the key to her, so I hope he’s right. He did say, ‘I have the key to her,’” Baxter said. “He definitely had the key to her last time.”

R Adios Jersey is rated second at 7-2 behind Florida-bred and 5-2 morning-line favorite Maryquitecontrary for the Princess Rooney.

Bred by Ocala Stud and J. Michael O’Farrell Jr., R Adios Jersey is out of the Montbrook mare Marion Theatre.

She was purchased for $12,000 by Averill Racing as a 2-year-old at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales March Sale where she was consigned by Ocala Stud.

Return to the October 6 issue of Wire to Wire