Hear My Prayer Among Seven Gulfstream Winners for Lopez

On March 21 when most of the racing news took place at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) day, Paco Lopez grabbed headlines at Gulfstream Park, riding a record-equaling seven winners, including Hear My Prayer in the $75,000 Melody of Colors Stakes, one of two black-type races on the card.

Cara Oliver’s Hear My Prayer sprinted to the lead and kept on going, shaking off Foolish Humor early and turning away Compensate late to earn her first career stakes victory in the Melody of Colors by 1 3/4 lengths, marking the fifth of Lopez’s seven winners on the 12-race card. Compensate was second and Foolish Humor was third.

Lopez, a past Championship Meet riding champion who sits third in the current standings, also won aboard Strike Magic in race 1, Time to Two Step in race 2, French Quarter in race 5, and Quick Step Ed in race 6, adding a sixth win aboard We Miss Susie in race 10 and a seventh aboard National Honor in race 12.

With his seventh win, Lopez joined the company of Luis Saez (twice), Tyler Gaffalione, and Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey, according to Gulfstream Park publicity. Saez achieved the feat Jan. 24, 2018 and March 29, 2018. Gaffalione won seven on July 4, 2017, while Bailey did so on March 11, 1996.

Trained by David Fisher, Hear My Prayer was a popular winner at even money in the field of 11 3-year-old fillies, cutting back to five furlongs following her 2020 debut, in which she was sixth after setting the pace in the 7 1/2-furlong Ginger Brew Stakes Jan. 4 at Gulfstream. She is a daughter of The Big Beast out of the Songandaprayer mare Additional Prayer.

She was bought for $16,000 by Omega Farm, agent, from the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2018 October Yearling Sale from the consignment of Camelot Acres Racing & Sales.

The winning time was :55.89 over a firm turf course.

Two races later on the card, Smart Angle’s Cajun Casanova rallied from far back to win the $75,000 Texas Glitter Stakes, a five-furlong turf sprint for 3-year-olds.

Trained by Michael Pino, Cajun Casanova, who captured the five-furlong Hollywood Beach Stakes on turf last year at Gulfstream, was claimed for $50,000 out of 5 1/4-length victory in a five-furlong, off-the-turf starter optional claiming race Jan. 23. The son of Cajun Breeze pressed the pace before finishing second in a five-furlong allowance on turf for his new connections Feb. 17.

Saturday, Cajun Casanova and jockey Miguel Vasquez employed different tactics with success. Cajun Casanova chased the pace in fourth as R Man Joe set solid fractions of :21.47 and :43.36 for the first half-mile before swinging wide entering the stretch and kicking in to win by neck.

R Man Joe finished second under Emisael Jaramillo, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of late-charging Guildsman and jockey Luis Saez.

Cajun Casanova, bred in Florida by Shadybrook Farm and out of the Concerto mare Theladysaidno, ran five furlongs in :55.28.