R Sassy Lass Shines on Florida Cup Day at Tampa

SV Photography

SV Photography

Exclusive Quality’s R Sassy Lass was among the stars of Florida Cup Day at Tampa Bay Downs April 4. (Race Video)

In a virtual repeat of the Oldsmar track’s Sandpiper Stakes in December, R Sassy Lass ranged up strongly with a three-wide bid on the far turn, collared Coco’s Wildcat (by Wildcat Heir) in the stretch and posted a 1 ¾-length victory in the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies Stakes at seven furlongs. Coco’s Wildcat finished a clear second (it was five lengths back to the third-place finisher) as the two fillies by Journeyman Stud stallions duplicated their one-two finish from the Sandpiper Stakes.

Bred and sold by Brent and Crystal Fernung, R Sassy Lass is owned by Averill Racing, Silver Oak Stable and Gregory Kaufman and trained by Kirk Ziadie. Averill bought the filly from Journeyman Bloodstock Services for $40,000 at last year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s April sale.

“We were actually pointing for this spot two months ago,” said Rich Averill. “We had thought about running her at Gulfstream in the Any Limit Stakes (against Awesome of Course’s Dogwood Trail, who finished 4th in the race at Tampa), but we didn’t want to run against her. We ended up facing her anyway today.

“Kirk did a great job of getting R Sassy Lass ready,” Averill added. “We’ll probably send her to Gulfstream for an overnight stakes, then shoot for a $150,000 Grade 3 stakes on their Summit of Speed card (July 5).”

In addition to winning the Sandpiper, R Sassy Lass also finished second in the Old Hat Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park. R Sassy Lass, who is produced from the Cherokee Run mare Sassy Bear, now boasts a bankroll of $151,055 and sports a slate of 6-3-1-1.

Exclusive Quality is the third-ranked leading sire in Florida with progeny earnings of $603,253. His top earner on the season is Sr. Quisqueyano ($183,400). The son of Elusive Quality stands for $2,500.

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