Heavenly Landing got her first career stakes win in the $100,000 Marshua's River S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 7 to become the latest Gainesway bred and sales grad to garner black type status.
The 5-year-old mare got up just in time,closing from eighth place just a furlong out, to win by a nose after being stuck behind horses nearly the entire 1 1/16-mile trip. This marked the third win in a row since being switched to the turf at Keeneland in October. The Summerplace Farm colorbearer also won a turf allowance at the Churchill Downs fall meet.
“Man, she’s just turned around once they put her on the turf. I don’t know what it is, but I like it. She was much the best in there today,” said Corey Lanerie, who traveled from his base at Fair Grounds to ride. “My trip wasn’t the greatest but thankfully I found some room just in the nick of time. It might have been close at the wire, but I think she was by far the best horse today.”
“She showed considerable promise breaking her maiden on dirt earlier in her career in what seemed like a key race, but then she didn’t achieve what we had hoped for her,” winning trainer Eddie Kenneally said. “With her pedigree top and bottom, we decided to go to turf, but the first time she was entered it came off. Now she’ll stay on turf. We’ll take it one race at a time from here.”
Gainesway bred Heavenly Landing from the A.P. Indy mare Peace River Lady, who ran second in Churchill's Grade 3 Regret S. on the grass. Her siblings include two-time Grade 3 winner River Squall and the stakes winners Scenic Point and Eastern Dude.
Heavenly Landing sold at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale, where Gainesway, as agent, consigned and sold the filly for $340,000 to Summerplace.