Musical Romance captures the G1 Princess Rooney
Musical Romance avenged a neck loss in the 2011 Princess Rooney S. (G1) with a half-length victory in this year's renewal July 7 at Calder. The Ocala Stud-bred 5-year-old mare, by their late sire Concorde's Tune, won the $400,000, six furlong sprint in 1:10.92.
Jockey Juan Leyva had Musical Romance forwardly placed in the early stages, tracking in third for the first half of the race. She began her winning rally on the turn, challenging and then putting away Golden Mystery in mid-stretch before holding off a dangerous late challenge from Nicole H.
“Turning for home, I was waiting in the pocket, waiting for room,” Leyva said. “I didn’t want to move too soon. I had watched Nicole H’s races in New York, and I know she hangs a little. And at the end, my horse just dug in. She’s just an awesome horse.”
“That was a really painful loss, missing by a head last year,” Leyva continued. “It stuck with me all this time because I know she should have won, and because we lost the race here at Calder, on our home track. So it feels so great right now, to win this race today. This was sweet redemption.”
Musical Romance, who wrapped up her championship season with a win in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) in November, won the Grade 2 Inside Information S. in March at Gulfstream Park. She earned $233,120 in the Princess Rooney, boosting her career bankroll to $1,627,695 with a record of 11-6-7 in 38 starts.
Kaplan indicated that Musical Romance’s path to this year’s Breeders’ Cup could include a start in the Grade 1 Ballerina S. at Saratoga on August 24 or the Grade 2 Presque Isle Masters, a race she won in 2011, at Presque Isle Downs on September 8.
Turbulent Descent headed for Ballerina S. as well
Another top-class Ocala Stud-bred distaffer, Turbulent Descent, could be headed for a face-off with Musical Romance in the Ballerina. Winner of the Desert Stormer H. at Hollywood Park on June 17 in her first start this year, the 4-year-old filly was sold to Coolmore following that race and is now with trainer Todd Pletcher, who mentioned the Ballerina as a potential start for the newest member of his barn.