Union Rags' Power Squeeze Upsets the Gulfstream Park Oaks

Power Squeeze | Nicole Thomas

The streaking Power Squeeze (Union Rags) punched her ticket to the GI Kentucky Oaks while upsetting heavily favored 'TDN Rising Star' Ways and Means (Practical Joke) in Saturday's GII Gulfstream Park Oaks.

The Cash Run S. Jan. 1 and Suncoast S. Feb. 10 heroine, off at odds of 11-1 while looking for her fourth straight victory here, stayed out of trouble on the inside while Ways and Means, making her first start since a second-place finish in Saratoga's GI Spinaway S., was bounced around in between rivals and shuffled back on the clubhouse turn.

Traveling nicely in an inside fourth down the backstretch, Power Squeeze was in no hurry as Ways and Means slingshotted her way near the front with a flashy move on the outside beneath Irad Ortiz, Jr. Ways and Means poked her head in front at the top of the stretch and looked well on her way as she kicked for home. Power Squeeze, however, was just getting going. She set her sights on Ways and Means in the stretch and rolled right on by to get the money.

The Gulfstream Park Oaks was worth a total of 200 qualifying points to the top five finishers for the Kentucky Oaks.

“We always thought very highly of her. We never felt like she was [11-1]. We felt like she was 1-1,” winning trainer Jorge Delgado said. “We felt like we had a really good chance. We believed in the filly, and she responded for us.”

He added, “I believe the stretch at Churchill is going to be really good for her. Hopefully everything comes back in order and we're going to plan a trip to go there.”

As for the runner-up, trainer Chad Brown said, “[Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.] said the first turn cost him. It got tight in there, he was bounced around a bit, and he got wide. And then when she saw daylight, she kind of pulled herself up to the front, a little premature move. He said he didn't really want to do that. She ran really well. I think without the layoff, she probably could have encountered some trouble like that and still had enough to go, but she had a lot to do today. And then when you add the trouble in the first turn and the wide trip and all, it maybe took just enough out of her to get caught by the wire.”

Pedigree Notes:

Power Squeeze, a $50,000 KEESEP yearling and $90,000 OBSAPR juvenile, becomes the 16th graded winner for Union Rags. The winner's three-time, stakes-winning dam Callmethesqueeze, a $50,000 purchase by Athens Woods at the 2022 KEENOV sale, is also responsible for a 2-year-old filly by Street Sense and a yearling colt by Liam's Map. She was bred to Vino Rosso for 2024.

Saturday, Gulfstream Park
GULFSTREAM PARK OAKS PRESENTED BY FANDUEL TV-GII, $250,000, Gulfstream, 3-30, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:44.19, ft.
1–POWER SQUEEZE, 122, f, 3, by Union Rags
                1st Dam: Callmethesqueeze (MSW, $324,499),
                                by Awesome Again
                2nd Dam: Mop Squeezer, by Roanoke
                3rd Dam: Honey League Girl, by Honey Jay
   1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($50,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP; $90,000
2yo '23 OBSAPR). O-Lea Farms, LLC; B-Forging Oaks LLC (KY);
T-Jorge Delgado; J-Daniel Centeno. $148,800. Lifetime Record:
6-4-1-0, $337,450. *1/2 to Call On Mischief (Into Mischief),
SW, $283,237. Werk Nick Rating: A+.
   Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or the
   free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Ways and Means, 122, f, 3, Practical Joke–Strong Incentive,
by Warrior's Reward. O/B-Klaravich Stables (KY); T-Chad C.
Brown. $48,000.
3–Into Champagne, 122, f, 3, Into Mischief–Bedford Land, by
Speightstown. ($300,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Six Column
Stables, LLC, Randall Bloch, Jim Gladden, Mike Davis & Michael
Steele; B-Robert & Lawana Low (KY); T-Ian R. Wilkes. $24,000.
Margins: 1, 5 3/4, 1. Odds: 11.00, 0.50, 8.20.
Also Ran: Gun Song, Scalable, Do Gooder, America's Vow, Fiona's Magic, Neom City. Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

 

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