BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Welcome Back will face new challengers when she tries to keep her unblemished record intact in the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Florida Sire Stakes Susan’s Girl Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The Soldi Stable LLC homebred filly takes on 11 rivals in the $200,000 Susan’s Girl, the second race in the filly division of the lucrative series after narrowly winning the $100,000 Desert Vixen, the six-furlong, first leg of the series for eligible 2-year-old fillies by accredited Florida stallions on Sept. 9.
Leading the way among the new shooters in the Susan’s Girl is 9-5 morning line favorite R Harper Rose, who was a late scratch as the program favorite the morning of the Desert Vixen because of a fever; and Honey Dijon, who invades after finishing sixth, beaten less than three lengths by Crown Imperial in the $499,286 Pepsi Untapable last out at Kentucky Downs on Sept 13.
Trained by Jose D’Angelo, Welcome Back made a big stretch run in the Desert Vixen to edge Mist at the wire and remain unbeaten in two career starts. The daughter of Ocala Stud stallion Adios Charlie defeated non-winners of two, $75,000 optional claiming fillies by a length-and-three-quarters at odds of 25-1 in her career debut at five furlongs on the synthetic course on July 29.
Welcome Back, out of Lady Marchella, by Afleet Alex, has earned $91,300 in her two races and has been assigned morning line odds of 6-1 for the Susan’s Girl.
She will again have the riding services of her regular reinsman Edwin Gonzalez and has drawn post nine.
R Harper Rose – Lauren King Photo
R Harper Rose is also undefeated in two starts after dominating non-winners of two, $75,000 optional claiming fillies by nearly six lengths going five-and-a-half furlongs on Sept. 22. She was a six-and-a-quarter-length winner of her first start in a five-and-a-half furlong maiden special weight in the mud in early August at Gulfstream.
R Harper Rose is by Journeyman Stud stallion Khozan out of True Bliss, by Yes It’s True and was bred in Florida by Sally J. Andersen.
An earner of $77,300, R Harper Rose is trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. and has drawn post 11. Edgard Zayas will again have the riding chores.
Honey Dijon is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line for trainer Joe Sharp and owner Brad Grady.
A daughter of Girvin out of Archangelus, by Empire Maker, Honey Dijon won her second start in an off the turf maiden special weight going five-and-a-half furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 10.
Bred by Brad and Misty Grady, Honey Dijon has earned $64,450 in three starts and will break from the outside post 12 with Samy Camacho in the irons.
Other Susan’s Girl contenders include Bucchera, who will be ridden by Edgar Perez; Mist with Emisael Jaramillo aboard, Miguel Vasquez rides Reina Mar, Haunted with jockey Hector Diaz Jr., Kitty’s Pretty will have Leonel Reyes in the saddle, Dancing N Dixie with Marcos Meneses aboard, Fields of Green has Jose Morelos taking the riding assignment, Unrelentless will carry Luca Panici and Jazzin with jockey Sonny Leon.
Return to Oct. 20 issue of Wire to Wire