We kicked off the final weekend of 2023 with a win at Gulfstream Park as MARKSMAN QUEEN (GB) scored in her first start in the United States. The 3-year-old homebred filly for Cayton Park Stud Ltd. arrived at our Fair Hill base in late September, training there until she shipped down with the Palm Meadows string just before Thanksgiving.
Originally scheduled at a mile on the turf, the optional allowance was moved to the Tapeta surface and run at one mile and 70 yards. Marksman Queen (GB) had the services of Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who gave her one of his patented brilliant rides. Keen from the break, she led throughout. Headed by Hola Gata and Tyler Gaffalione in the final furlong, it seemed that pair would get past…but Marksman Queen (GB) and Johnny V. had stronger opinions.
Pete Aiello’s spirited call said “Hola Gata challenging Marksman Queen (GB) an eighth of a mile out. They’re 2 1/2 better than Starship Aurora. They come past the sixteenth pole, inside Marksman Queen (GB) GAME…Hola Gata not by yet! And here’s the wire – it’s Marksman Queen (GB)!! She dug in her heels and said ‘No ma’am’ to Hola Gata; turned her away in 1:39 flat.”
By top international sire Dubawi (IRE), Marksman Queen (GB) is out of the multiple graded stakes winning mare Sharp Susan (by Touch Gold). One of the top 3-year-old fillies of 2007, Sharp Susan won the Herecomesthebride Stakes-G3 and Lake Placid Stakes-G2 that season. She was also second in the Boiling Springs Stakes-G3 and third in the Garden City Stakes-G1.
Congratulations to Cayton Park Stud on their girl’s exciting U.S. debut!