A Bit Special | Lauren King photo

A Bit Special notched the first graded stakes win of her young career with a decisive stalk-and-pounce score in Sunday’s GIII Sweetest Chant S. at Gulfstream Park. Having already captured the Our Dear Peggy S. and Wait a While S. over the Hallandale turf Sept. 29 and Dec. 8, respectively, the daughter of Mukhadram (GB) ran her overall record to four-for-five with her latest success.

Securing a closer-than-usual stalking position around the first turn as Eyeinthesky (Sky Mesa) showed the way through an opening quarter-mile in :23.92, she settled down the backstretch but was asked to match a bid from Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) to her outside approaching the far turn. Cued up to go after the leader on the bend, she seized control entering the lane under confident handling by jockey Julien Leparoux. Kept under a brisk hand ride late, A Bit Special widened to win comfortably. Regal Glory held second, with fellow Chad Brown trainee La Feve (Fr) finishing fast to complete the trifecta.

“She could be anything,” said winning trainer Patrick Biancone. “She should be unbeaten. The race when she got beat, she lost 10 lengths at the start and she only got beat [a neck]. She’s special and she’s a lovely animal to be around. When they’re good like that, it’s fantastic for the team.”

Biancone acknowledged the win was bittersweet, because A Bit Special’s regular rider Romero Maragh remains hospitalized after suffering a serious spinal injury in a Jan. 31 spill.

“This makes me sad,” Biancone said. “They ask me why I’m not smiling and it’s because the kid is injured. It’s tough.”

A Bit Special was a first-out maiden winner sprinting five furlongs over the Gulfstream turf Aug. 19 and rallied from a distant last to be second, a neck behind the winner, in the Sept. 1 Sharp Susan S. From there, she returned to the winner’s circle with a three-length victory in the Our Dear Peggy before kicking off the Championship Meet in style in the Wait a While.

Pedigree Notes:

A Bit Special, from the first crop of 2014 G1 Coral Eclipse S. winner and G1 Dubai World Cup runner-up Mukhadram, becomes the first graded/group stakes winner for her sire less than two months after becoming his first stakes winner. Imported to America after being purchased for €80,000 as a Goffs Orby yearling by Wavertree Stables, she is a half-sister to Turkish champion older mare Iskra (GB) (Mount Nelson {GB}). The winner’s dam, Euro Empire, enjoyed stateside success of her own, capturing two stakes in Southern California and finishing second in the GI Oak Leaf S. and third in the GI Del Mar Debutante in 2000.

–Ben Massam

Sunday, Gulfstream Park
SWEETEST CHANT S.-GIII, $100,000, Gulfstream, 2-3, 3yo, f, 1mT, 1:35.62, fm.
1–A BIT SPECIAL (GB), 118, f, 3, by Mukhadram (GB)
                1st Dam: Euro Empire (MSW & MGISP, $281,145),
                                by Bartok (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Lotta Glory Beau’s, by Empire Glory
                3rd Dam: Lotta Beau’s, by Beau’s Eagle
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. (15,000gns Wlg ’16 TATFOA;
€80,000 Ylg ’17 GOFOR; $70,000 RNA 2yo ’18 FTFMAR).
O-Linda Shanahan, Mrs. M. V. & J. P. Magnier; B-Lindum
Partnership (GB); T-Patrick L. Biancone; J-Julien R. Leparoux.
$59,520. Lifetime Record: 5-4-1-0, $193,605. *1/2 to Iskra
(GB) (Mount Nelson {GB}), Ch. Older Mare-Tur, MSW-Tur,
$212,800. *1st GSW for her sire (by Shamardal). Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A.
2–Regal Glory, 118, f, 3, Animal Kingdom–Mary’s Follies, by
More Than Ready. O-Paul P. Pompa, Jr.; B-Paul P Pompa (KY);
T-Chad C. Brown. $19,200.
3–La Feve (Fr), 116, f, 3, George Vancouver–Marcela Howard
(Ire), by Fasliyev. (€7,500 Ylg ’17 DEANOV). O-Madaket
Stables LLC, Robert V. LaPenta, Lindy Farms & Team Hanley;
B-Bernard & Mme Raymonde Leclere (FR); T-Chad C. Brown.
Margins: 2HF, 1 3/4, NK. Odds: 2.30, 3.20, 3.10.
Also Ran: Eyeinthesky, Hard Legacy, Mission From Elle, Miss Unbridled Cat, Bella Ciao, Ardara Belle (Fr).
Click for the Equineline.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


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