Trainer Tom Albertrani won his sixth stakes of the meet and set a track record in the process when he sent out Raw Silk to an impressive 1 3/4-length triumph over 9-5 favorite Flibberjibit in Saturday's $50,000 South Beach at Gulfstream Park.
Raw Silk ($8.80), ridden by Paco Lopez, set lightning fast fractions of 23.29 seconds, 45.43, and 1:08.99 for the opening six furlongs of the 7 1/2- furlong South Beach but still had plenty left in the tank to withstand challenges from Flibberjibit and All Is Vanity through the stretch. The outing was the first for Raw Silk, a 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, since she finished off the board in the Grade 2 Mrs Revere at Churchill Downs on Nov. 8.
Flibberjibit outlasted All Is Vanity by a neck to finish second in a field of 11 older filly and mare turf specialists.
Raw Silk's final time of 1:27.28 shaved .44 of a second off the old track standard of 1:27.72 set by Paula Smith in January 2005.
"I'm sure the turf course is plenty firm. That's what you need to run that kind of time," said Albertrani, who trains Raw Silk for the Darley Stable. "But no matter, she ran huge coming off the layoff. The distance was also perfect, 7 1/2 furlongs to a mile is perfect for her. If she continues to train like she trained for this race I might throw her in the deep end again in the Just a Game this June at Belmont."