BY JIM WELLS
Simran was already back in the barn and enjoying a fresh stall, perhaps even lying down by that point, when her owners finished dinner Friday evening.
The special on Friday was crab legs and shrimp, and Gaitri and Roopishwar Rampadarat had made their way up the escalator to the clubhouse after the second race, the $45,000 Minnesota Made Distaff Sprint. They were eagerly ready for a meal after a long afternoon.
Their 3-year-old filly had flashed her winning style for the third consecutive time, whipping five rivals for a second consecutive stakes victory.
She won the $50,000 Frances Genter Stakes on the Fourth of July after a resounding win in allowance company just five day earlier, and on Friday night she was simply the best once again, finishing 3 ¼ lengths in front of Ta Kela Warming, to whom she was a slight second favorite. Miss Jane was third by a neck to the runnerup.
Simran stalked the leaders, Ta Kela Warning, Ryan and Madison and Miss Jane in the early stages and began her challenge in the upper stretch, taking command in the stretch drive, finishing in 1:12.24.
Simran always greets her owners when they pay her a visit and there was no reason to think she would not again when they checked on her after dinner Friday night.
“She always comes out to see us,” said Roopishwar. “A very easy horse to be around. A lot of the time, she’s lying down in her stall.”
And very easy to ride according to her jockey. “She’s a very kind and gentle horse,” said winning rider Leslie Mawing. “But when you ask her, she responds. I think I can place her just about anywhere and she’ll be fine..”
Mawing, who also won a second $45,000 stakes Friday night, has been the Rampadarats’ rider of choice for some time. “He rode Bassant for us, too,” Gaitri recalled. And, before that, Mawing’s brother Anthony rode for them.
Bassant, who earned $129,000, competed during a specific frame of reference for his owners. “He won the Blair’s Cove Stakes (2003),” Gaitri said. “And he ran against Wally’s Choice (Canterbury’s champion three-year-old in 2004).”
Bassant’s name was dusted off because of Simran’s win on Friday. Asked if the filly was the best they’ve had, the Rampadarats instantly included his name.
They began racing in 1992 and at one time kept a stable of 17 horses. “That was a full time job,” Roopishwar said. “But I was a young man then.”
They also included Florida on their racing itinerary at one time as well, but then returned exclusively to Minnesota. Their once-loaded stable is down to two horses in 2018, Simran and her 2-year-old full sister, Ishwarie.
The young sister might have some of Simran’s racing talent, but the fillies are unalike in other ways. The two-year-old has an aggressive side and is more animated than her older sister. She is also blind in her left eye.
Simran’s success, according to her rider and owners, is the consequence of the teamwork they had structured this season. Everything from the exercise rider, Enrique Chuquiray, to Mawing, his agent, Troy Banum, and the the horse’s owners.
“We have a good team,” Gaitri said.
Then, the Rampadarats left their dinner table and headed to the barn, where Simran awaited their arrival.
$45,000 MINNESOTA MADE SPRINT
Speeding Kid’s name alone sounds like he’s prone to a traffic ticket, but he picked up only a winning ticket in this race, running easily to a two-length victory over Vow of Francis, with Fireman Oscar a neck out of second.
The 3/5 favorite, Speeding Kid cruised to the winner’ circle in 1:10.98 under Mawing. Not a bad night, eh, Leslie.
“Yeah, it was a good night. I’ll take it,” he responded.
The victory was the first for Speeding Kid under his new ownership, Lori and William Townsend, who purchased the horse from her father, Jim Zahler.
Townsend said the purchase has changed his life in several ways. He no longer fishes or plays sudoku; he watches morning workouts instead.
“Yeah, fishing is very relaxing, and this is just the opposite,” he said, making it clear he was not complaining.
Nor was Mawing, who spent several weeks sidelined by injury this summer, He regained a chunk of that lost revenue Friday night by winning both stakes races on the card.