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On Saturday, May 27th, the FHBPA Stakes Series continues with another exciting ‘Black Type’ race, the $100,000 Musical Romance for Florida-bred fillies and mares.
The race is named after the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Grade 1 winner Musical Romance, who was also crowned the 2011 Eclipse Award for Champion Female Sprinter, and bred by Ocala Stud.
Musical Romance’s owner and current FHBPA Secretary, Adam Lazarus, and co-owner/trainer Bill Kaplan are scheduled to be on hand to present the trophy to the winner.
The 7-furlong dirt stake race is number 9 on the card and boasts 8 entries in what on paper appears to be a very competitive race. In fact, 6 of the 8 entries have lifetime best Equibase speed ratings between 90 to 98.

Trainer Mark Casse

One horse you may want to watch is the Mark Casse trainee R Girls a Charmer. The 4-year-old daughter of multiple graded stakes winner In Summation has one stake win under her belt and is coming off a 6-month layoff.
R Girls a Charmer picks up the services of Big Drama Stakes winning jockey Tyler Gafflione who is looking to sweep the first two FHBPA stake races.
We asked trainer Mark Casse why he chose this race to bring her back and his thoughts on her chances. “She doesn’t have a whole lot of condition and she is a Florida-bred. After looking at our options we felt this was a good spot for her, and she’s working well coming into the race.”

When asked if he sees the FHBPA Stakes Series as a good opportunity for Florida-breds Casse replied, “For sure, in fact, this is one of the reasons I decided to take on Florida-breds which I never really did before.” We asked, how long that has been, “about two years now.”

Angel Penna, Jr. has entered two solid looking fillies for this race, Eva London and Hola Charlotte. Both fillies are coming off impressive wins and look sharp entering this event. You can read more about his horses and their chances here. 

Trainer Angel Penna, Jr.

We asked Penna why he chose this race for both of his fillies, “Well, it’s two things, first the opportunity. I was looking for a straight Florida-bred race with a decent purse. Second, the fillies are both doing well right now and sometimes you have to wait and wait for the right spot. So, rather than stop their momentum, I decided to run them both now.”

Which of the two do you think has the best chance? “Hola Charlotte has more experience, but Eva London has a very beautiful attitude but she hasn’t been tested at all. She won her last race so easily. They are both nice horses and it’s hard for me to take a side. The only thing I like better without a doubt is the outside post (Hola Charlotte). I hate the number one hole (Eva London) but that’s what I ended up with and that’s what I have to deal with.”

FHBPA President Bill White had this to say about the upcoming race, “The Big Drama was a huge success, we are hoping that the Musical Romance, the filly and mare bookend of last week’s race, goes over just as well. What’s great about this is that three of these horses will come out of the race with Black Type status as well as a shot at a nice purse.”

Here are the entries for the Musical Romance

  1. Eva London trained by Angel Penna Jr with Carlos Hernandez up
  2. Royal Jewely trained by Gerald Bennett with C.J. McMahon up
  3. My Dear Venezuela trained by Fernando Abreu with Miguel Vasquez up
  4. Money or Love trained by Anthony Russo with Ramsey Zimmerman up
  5. R Kinsley Doll trained by Ralph Ziadie with Edgar Zayas up
  6. R Girls A Charmer trained by Mark Casse with Tyler Gafflione up
  7. Hola Charlotte trained by Angel Penna, Jr. with Jose Ruiz up
  8. Brahms Cat trained by Larry Bates with Luca Panici up