(Trainer Brendan Walsh will saddle La Signare in Saturday’s G3 Suwannee River at Gulfstream Park / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)
From the Gulfstream Park Media Team:
La Signare is slated for a return to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s $100,000 Suwannee River (G3), and trainer Brendan Walsh couldn’t be more pleased to bring the well-traveled 6-year-old mare back to the site of her last stakes win.
The French-bred mare captured the Sand Springs in the March 20 Florida Derby (G1) undercard before clashing with some of the best turf fillies in the country during the rest of a 2020 racing season that concluded with a fifth-place finish in the Oct. 10 Flower Bowl (G1) at Belmont Park.
“She had a good year last year. We just gave her a break because she was on the go all year. There wasn’t anything wrong with her. We just wanted to freshen her up,” Walsh said. “She’s been working good. She’s another one who loves Gulfstream. She won a stakes there last year, so it looks like a good race to start back.”
The 74th running of the Suwannee River, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for older fillies and mares carded as Race 6, will highlight Saturday’s 12-race program, along with the $100,000 Ladies Turf Sprint, a five-furlong dash for older fillies and mares
La Signare finished a late-closing third in the Feb. 29 The Very One (G3) at Gulfstream before winning the Sand Springs, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of stablemate Zofelle. She went on to finish a troubled second in the Mint Julep at Churchill Downs, finishing a neck in front of third-place finisher Zofelle, the Walsh-trained mare who captured the Jan. 23 Marshua’s River (G3) at Gulfstream. La Signare went on to finish seventh in the Jenny Wiley (G1) at Keeneland, where she finished less than five lengths behind Rushing Fall; third in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2); and fifth in the Flower Bowl.
“She was competitive everywhere she went. If she improves a small bit again this year,” Walsh said, “maybe there will be a big one in there somewhere along the line.”
Although La Signare just turned 6, Walsh wouldn’t be surprised to see the daughter of Siyouni step it up a notch this year for Madaket Stables LLC, Bradley Thoroughbreds and Tim and Anna Cambron.
“She can be a little quirky, temperamentally, but we’ve gotten to know her through the years and learned to manager her what seems to be the best way for her,” he said. “As they get a little bit older, you hope they get a little more sensible.”
La Signare, who won the 2018 Wonder Again (G3) at Belmont on the front end when trained by Brian Lynch, settled off the early pace before kicking in late in her races last year.
“I think she likes to get some cover and track some speed,” Walsh said. “When she gets some cover, she switches off and hopefully we get that on Saturday.”
Tyler Gaffalione is scheduled to ride La Signare for the first time since teaming with the French mare for her Sand Springs score.
Alpha Delta Stables’ Great Island enters the Suwannee River in search of her first stakes success in her fifth career start. The 5-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy finished second in the Dec. 12 Via Borghese in her most recent start, beaten three lengths by victorious Always Shopping, who came right back to win the Jan. 23 La Prevoyante (G3). Great Island was subsequently disqualified and placed third for impeding late-running Cap de Creus, who was placed second.
The Chad Brown-trained mare had broken her maiden at Churchill Downs and won a first-level allowance at Keeneland.
Irad Ortiz Jr. is scheduled to ride Great Island for the first time Saturday.
The Elkstone Group LLC’s Logic and Reason; Sam Wilensky’s Drop a Hint; Jerry Jamgotchian’s duo of Tiltingatwindmills and Loving Moment; and Lea Farms LLC’s Makeme Dream round out the main body of the field. Ron Paolucci Racing LLC and Leigh Anderson-Butler’s Mylastfirstkiss is a main-track-only entrant.