Thank You Marylou, second in last year's Adirondack S. (G2) at Saratoga, stepped up Sunday to take the $75,000 Any Limit S. at Gulfstream Park in the first 2014 outing for the 3-year-old Birdstone filly.
A nice break put Thank You Marylou in a stalking spot behind two front-runners as the field made their way down the backstretch. Going three wide around the turn and into the lane, Thank You Marylou rolled by the pacesetters in mid-stretch to score by 2 1/2 lengths under jockey Julien Leparoux. The final time for the seven furlongs was an excellent 1:21.51, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 95.
"I had a perfect trip, sitting third on the outside in the clear," Leparoux said. "When I asked her to go, she just took off. She's a very nice filly. It was the first time I've been on her, so it was a good surprise."
"She's been training really well since she came back," Mike Maker's assistant trainer Evelio Chavez commented. "Mike has done a really good job with her. It's really unbelievable that she could run like that off the layoff. Sometimes horses need the race when they've been off for so long, but she proved that she's a runner. That's her style--she likes to be behind horse and then run."
Thank You Marylou was named in honor Marylou Whitney, who assisted the filly's owners when Sarah Ramsey suffered a stroke in 2007. The Ramsey's bought their latest stakes winner for $47,000 at the 2011 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale.
Thank You Marylou has now bankrolled $128,200 with two wins in three starts, including a career debut win in the $75,000 Tippett S. at Colonial Downs.
Whitney bred and owned Birdstone, winner of the Travers S. (G1) and Belmont S. (G1) in 2004. Birdstone, who stands this year at Gainesway for $10,000 LFS&N, is also the sire of leading 3-year-old colt Conquest Titan.