by Glen Berman
Track announcer Peter Aiello shouted “It’s too close to call,” as Katinka with jockey Leonel Reyes and Surprise Wedding, ridden by Jesus Rios, hit the wire together.
It was Katinka who won by a head-bobbing nose in the $100,000 Miss Gracie Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday September 16. The Miss Gracie, a 7 ½ furlong turf race for 3-year-old Florida-bred fillies, was the ninth of ten FHBPA/GP stakes races featuring Florida-breds this Spring/Summer.
The final race in the series is the $100,000 Bear’s Den Stakes for three-year-old Florida-bred boys going 7 ½ furlongs on the turf this Saturday, September 23, 2017 at Gulfstream.
Katinka is owned by Shadybrook Farm, Inc. and Pam Klein and is trained by Michael Yates. She is a three-year-old daughter of Kantharos out of the Carson City mare Classy City Lady. Katinka won a maiden special weight race this Spring at Gulfstream before finishing 2nd in the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes on July 4, another of the FHBPA/GP Stakes Series races.
Katinka, who was purchased for $10,000 at the OBS August Yearling Sale and for $17,000 at OBS as a two-year-old, unsuccessfully tested Grade III competition in the Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington last month.
Second-place finisher Surprise Wedding, who suffered a tough beat in this race, is owned by William A.T. Rainbow and is trained by David Fawkes. Late charging favorite Gran Cherry, owned by Granpollo Stable and trained by Victor Barboza, Jr., finished third.