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Tournesol Kicks off Big Week for Joseph with Portofino Bay Win

Jul 12, 2020
Breeze On By Wins Debut, Zayas Rides Three Winners

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – BHMFR LLC’s Tournesol surged late to capture Sunday’s $60,000 Portofino Bay at Gulfstream Park, kicking off what could turn out to be a big week for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.

Joseph, who will be represented by Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful Ny Traffic in next Saturday’s $1 million Haskell (G1) at Monmouth Park and Kentucky Oaks (G1) candidate Tonalist’s Shape in next Saturday’s $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga, saddled Tournesol for her first stakes victory in the 1 1/16-mile overnight stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf.

Tournesol ($11.80) rated well off the early pace under Edgard Zayas as Mijet set fractions of 24.23 and 48.07 seconds for the first half mile over a ‘good’ turf course.  Yesterdayoncemore, the 9-5 second choice ridden by Luca Panici, got the jump on Tournesol with a sharp move on the turn into the homestretch to open up a seemingly insurmountable lead in mid-stretch.

“At the top of the stretch, when Yesterdayoncemore opened up, I said, ‘We’re going to finish a good second,’” Joseph said.

Tournesol, however, came up with a breathtaking late surge to catch Yesterdayoncemore by a neck at the finish.

“I told Edgard that the distance was really going to help her. She really has a turn of foot, but I didn’t think she was going to get her. She really had to kick in and she did,” Joseph said.

Tournesol, who ran 1 1/16-miles in 1:43.30 over a ‘good’ turf course, earned her third victory in five career starts, all on turf. She launched her career with a late-running triumph in a mile race for $25,000 claimers at Gulfstream Jan. 20.

“She wasn’t a very expensive purchase and the sire [Karakontie] wasn’t that well known then. We just thought we could make her eligible for starters. We were willing to take that chance,” Joseph said.

Tournesol finished third in a starter stakes in her second start. After clipping heels with another horse in her third start, she came back to win a mile starter allowance May 3.

Yesterdayoncemore, an Irish-bred filly who captured the Del Mar Juvenile Filly Turf in her U.S. debut last year, finished 4 ½ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Blue Mistress.

Ny Traffic tuned up for the Haskell Sunday morning with a five-furlong breeze in 59.67 seconds at Gulfstream, producing the second fastest clocking of 19 recorded at the distance.

“Ny Traffic has a really good work. He’s ready to go,” Joseph said.

Breeze On By Wins Debut, Zayas Rides Three Winners

Stonehedge LLC’s Breeze On By, a 2-year-old gelded son of Cajun Breeze, made a winning debut Sunday, covering six furlongs easily under jockey Emisael Jaramillo in 1:11.82. Breeze On By, trained by Ralph Nicks, is out of Miss Primetime, a stakes-placed mare and daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus bred by Joseph Allen.

Jockey Edgard Zayas won three races Sunday. Zayas won the fourth with Fortune Cookie ($3.20), the Portofino Bay with Tournesol ($11.80), and the ninth race with even-money favorite Front Loaded ($4.20).           

Live racing returns to Gulfstream Wednesday with first-race post of noon and a $500,000 guaranteed pool in the Rainbow 6.

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