Crimson Advocate prevailed by a nose in an exciting photo finish to win Wednesday’s Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at Great Britain’s Ascot Racecourse, making Gulfstream Park’s Road to Ascot qualifying event for the Royal Ascot meeting an instant success in its very first season.
The George Weaver-trained Crimson Advocate, who set the pace following a quick start and held on gamely to defeat favored Relief’s Rally in the prestigious five-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-old fillies, had previously scored a front-running 3 ½-length triumph in the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies May 13 at Gulfstream.
The Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies, a five-furlong turf dash for 2-year-old fillies, and the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile, a five-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds won by Weaver-trained No Nay Mets, provided each winner an automatic berth in one of six juvenile races during the June 20-24 Royal Ascot meeting. No Nay Mets, who also scored by 3 ½ lengths in his race at Gulfstream, is scheduled to start in Thursday’s Norfolk Stakes (G2) after being sold for more than $1 million at Monday’s Goff’s London sale.
“1/ST Racing and Gulfstream Park want to congratulate the connections of Crimson Advocate for their thrilling victory in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot,” said Aidan Butler, Chief Executive Officer/1/ST Racing & Gaming. “What a joy and how extremely satisfying that our first-of-its-kind partnership with Ascot Racecourse has produced a winner at Royal Ascot in its inaugural season.”
Crimson Advocate, who is owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Swinbank Stables, Black Type Thoroughbreds, RAP Racing, Chris Mara, BlackRidge Stables Inc., and Amy E. Dunne, is a daughter to champion Nyquist, who captured the 2016 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream on his way to winning the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Having high hopes for his 2023 class of 2-year-olds, last spring’s announcement of the Royal Palm Juvenile series drew the immediate attention of Weaver, whose stable campaigns at Gulfstream during the Championship Meet and into the Royal Palm Meet.
“We happened to stay down there with horses, so it was a plan that was easy to execute for us,” said Weaver “I’m very grateful to Gulfstream for putting it on. It’s a great thing going forward.”
“Gulfstream’s partnership with Ascot Racecourse has just begun. Our hope is to build on this extraordinary partnership with Ascot Racecourse and to continue expanding the spectacle and culture of horse racing with all our partners globally,” Butler added.