January 23, 2021
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Returning from a seven-month layoff, the Heider Family Stables’ Zofelle cruised up into contention on the second turn and rolled to a two-length victory Saturday in the Marshua’s River (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The Marshua’s River, run at a mile for the first time since 2004, is for fillies and mares four-year-olds on the turf. It was the third of seven stakes on Saturday’s program that was headlined by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1).
Zofelle, a 5-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Zoffany, won her first three starts in 2019 after being imported from Europe. She placed in two stakes in 2020 but was given a break by trainer Brendan Walsh after finishing fifth in the Just A Game (G1) on June 27 at Belmont Park.
Sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 10, Zofelle and jockey Tyler Gaffalione took up a position near the rail a half-dozen lengths behind Our Bay B Ruth, who led the way through opening fractions of 23.18 and 46.12 seconds. Sweet Bye and Bye and Vigilantes Way quickened from their stalking positions to overtake Our Bay B Ruth in the second turn, but Zofelle was making her rally, too, and, swept to the lead inside the eighth pole. She completed the mile in 1:38.11 and paid $7.60 for her first graded-stakes victory.
Sweet Bye and Bye held for second and Belle Laura was up for third.
$125,000 Marshua’s River (G3) Quotes
Winning trainer Brendan Walsh (Zofelle): “She had a very good year last year. We gave her a break. She came back from the break and she had been working really, really good. Came to hand really fast, had been working well for this, so it was nice to see her do what she did there.”
“It seems like it has been tough to close on the outer course today, so we didn’t want to be too far away. She traveled around there really nice and when he asked her she picked up instantly. We can’t ask for more than that.”
Winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Zofelle): “I rode her in her first start in America and she settled real well that day and gave a really serious run down the stretch. I was trying to do the same thing. Coming off the layoff, I didn’t want to rush her. I just let her settle and she picked up her feet as she went and she finished up nicely.”