Dorth Vader Rumbles by Rivals to Sandpiper Stakes Win

Bloodhorse, Molly Rollins

John Ropes’ homebred Dorth Vader  continued her upward ascent with a second consecutive stakes triumph in the $100,000 Sandpiper Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. 

Dorth Vader draws away to win the Sandpiper Stakes

Following a four-length score in the Oct. 29 Juvenile Fillies Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park, the daughter of red-hot freshman sire Girvin  , scored by 2 1/4 lengths under Marco Meneses. 3-for-4 at sprint distances, she finished third in her only prior attempt at two turns, finishing third to NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) participant Atomically  in the FTBOA Florida Sire My Dear Girl Stakes.

Facing only four other 2-year-old fillies, Dorth Vader tracked in third behind favored Lady Radler  and Dreaming of Snow , who piped out early fractions of :22.04 and :44.92 on the front end. Set under a drive past the half-mile marker, Dorth Vader quickly loomed into contention despite drifting out to the middle of the track coming off the far turn. Under steady encouragement from Meneses, she roared by her rivals mid-stretch to stop the clock in a stakes record time of 1:09.35 for the six furlongs on a fast main track.

“I was a little nerve-wracked at the quarter pole, but she kicked on and did her thing. I thought she ran incredible,”  trainer Michael Yates said. “She is a very consistent, nice filly, and Marcos was very patient on her.”

Awesome Pic and Lady Radler completed the trifecta.

Dorth Vader returned $5.80 for a $2 win ticket.

One of four stakes winners sired by Girvin this year, Dorth Vader is out of the stakes-placed Yonaguska  mare Hardcore Candy . Dorth Vader earned $80,000, which included a $50,000 “win-only” bonus for a Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association-registered Florida-bred sired by an FTBOA-registered Florida stallion.