Florida has been kind to Tonalist’s Shape, but a trip to Kentucky in the spring might be in her future.
The undefeated daughter of Tonalist enhanced her status as a contender for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) with an easy 3 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies Feb. 1 at Gulfstream Park. She became her sire’s first graded winner.
“She likes to win,” said Saffie Joseph Jr., who trains the offspring of the Belmont Stakes-winning second-crop sire for Slam Dunk Racing, Legacy Ranch, and Doug Branham.
She was purchased privately by her current partners after a first-out maiden victory last year. Bloodstock agent Mike Recio brokered the interest bought by Branham.
Now 4-for-4, Tonalist’s Shape picked up 10 points in her bid for a starting spot in the Kentucky Oaks.
There was little suspense before and after the seven-furlong Forward Gal. Tonalist’s Shape was priced at odds of 1-2 on the morning line, opened at 1-9, and went off at 1-5 in the field of six. She paid $2.60 on a $2 win wager. Joseph is looking at the Feb. 29 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) at a mile and the March 28 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) at 1 1/16 miles as stepping stones to Churchill Downs on the first Friday in May.
Tonalist’s Shape made it look easy in her sophomore debut as she stalked in third while CJ Thoroughbreds’ Compensate led through a quarter-mile in :22.56.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. launched his bid for the lead on the turn, and Tonalist’s Shape was in front by the top of the stretch, cruising under the wire in 1:24.77 on a fast track.
“She did everything right,” Ortiz said.
It was Tonalist’s Shape’s second stakes win after romping by nine lengths in the Hut Hut Stakes at one mile Nov. 30 at Gulfstream in her previous start. She won allowance-level and maiden races at Gulfstream Park West and Gulfstream prior to that. Her earnings increased to $190,350.
“She did everything we asked,” Joseph said. “She was further back in the beginning. I know cutting back, she doesn’t really want to be (sprinting), but it was the right way to get her where we need to get her. … We can’t be more proud of her
Bred in Kentucky by Sabana Farm, Tonalist’s Shape is the first foal out of the stakes-winning Harlan’s Holiday mare Hitechnoweenie. She was an RNA at two sales, most recently for $60,000 at the 2019 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.
-edited from http://www.bloodhorse.com/Bob Ehalt