James Yoder steered a pair of Guccio sophomore fillies to victory during qualifiers held at Gil Crest Training Center in Bell, Fla. Saturday, May 9. Queen Margherita and May Baby were both winners in their individual races.
Starting from post one, Queen Margherita and Yoder got on the lead from the start and led the field by open lengths before receiving a challenge by Susie’s Sister and Don Harmon in the stretch. But the filly held gamely, trotting home in :28.0 to score the win by one-half length. Zulu and Rod Allen finished third.
After not racing as a two-year-old, Queen Margherita was making her fifth qualifying start at Gil Crest Training Center this year. Her win Saturday was her first career victory to give her a mark. She was purchased by Yoder for $13,000 from the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale.
Later on the card, May Baby returned to her winning ways, turning in a dominating performance in a time of 1:54.1. The Guccio filly, bred by Oakwood Farms, rallied out strong from the start and increased her lead at every pole, eventually pulling away to a 15-length advantage at the wire with a final panel in :27.2. Andela and Rod Allen finished second over Explosive Swan and Verlin Yoder for third.
Owned by Cheyenne Yoder, May Baby was making her first start of the year after a strong freshman season. The filly won six of 10 starts last year, earning in excess of $225,000 and a mark of 1:53.2. She was an $8,500 yearling purchase from the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale.