Money or Love pulled off a shocker at 35-1 on Saturday, May 27th in the running of the $100,000 Musical Romance Stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares, three-years-old and upward.
This was the second race of the Florida HBPA Stakes Series which features 10 Florida-bred/Florida-Enhanced stakes races as part of Gulfstream’s 2017 Spring/Summer Stakes Schedule.
Jockey Ramsey Zimmerman picked up the mount for trainer Anthony Russo and gave Money or Love a perfect ride, it was Ramsey’s second winner of the day.
The early pace was hotly contested set by My Dear Venezuela, pressured by R Kinsley Doll, R Girls a Charmer, and a four-wide Hola Charlotte, the 7/5 favorite. Zimmerman smartly settled Money or Love back off the pace and was able to make a move between horses and shot through the inside, turning the tables on Eva London (who had previously defeated her) with a strong rail-skimming finish.
R Kinsley Doll ran impressively as she kept up with early pressured pace and finished well for the place money. Eva London ran unhurriedly back to last early on from the 1 post and took the overland route with a big 8-wide run down the stretch to finish a very strong third.
After the race, we caught up with winning owner/trainer Anthony (Tony) Russo. He mentioned that Money or Love, who was previously stabled in the mid-Atlantic, was moved down to Ocala and pointed to this race.
“I brought her down here from the Mid-Atlantic and I’m glad I did,” said Russo. “the win didn’t surprise me, I was very confident, she had been racing and training very well.”
Russo said he has about 20 horses stabled here in Florida.
“The stakes series is great. It’s especially great when you win,” said Russo.
For those wondering, the training track listed for Money or Love (OWT) is Ocala West One, a private training course according to Russo.
So far, in the Florida HBPA Stakes Series, the top three finishers in both races have been dominated by horses out of the OBS sales. In the Musical Romance, the winner Money or Love was sold in the August 2013 OBS sales, R Kinsley Doll was sold in the March 2015 OBS 2-year-olds in training sale, and Eva London was sold in the April 2015 OBS 2-year-olds in training sale.
The Florida breeder of the winner of any race in the FHBPA Stakes series receives the maximum breeder award.
OBS President Tom Ventura commented, “We are very pleased OBS sale graduates were able to sweep the top three spots in the Big Drama and Musical Romance Stakes. Obviously, bigger purses and more stakes opportunities help attract and retain owners. It is important the quality of Florida racing is competitive with other states. While OBS sells horses throughout the world, the market needs to be strong in our backyard for the long-term health of our business and the surrounding horse community.”
The Florida HBPA also wants to congratulate Board Member and Treasurer Daryl Clark who was the breeder of the winning horse, Money or Love.
“As a small breeder, we are thrilled to have one of our horses win a Florida Bred Stake. The FHBPA/Gulfstream stakes program for Florida Bred horses affords unique opportunities for older later developing horses such as Money or Love (5-year-old mare) to provide returns to Florida Breeders. Our thanks to both the FHBPA and Gulfstream for supporting the Florida Breeders with this stakes series,” said Clark.