The Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes is contested as a one turn mile at Gulfstream Park. The race for three-year-old fillies is named in honor of Calumet Farm’s Kentucky Oaks and New York Triple Tiara winning filly. Last years race was won by Amen Hallelujah. Let’s take a look at the field of nine which includes Forward Gal Stakes 1-2 finishers Pomeroys Pistol and Dancinginherdreams.
#1 Mending Hearts- Daughter of Street Cry broke her maiden over the track last out on 1/27. She won by 1 1/2 lengths and the closest horse to the runner up was 10 ¾ lengths back in third. That is pretty impressive considering this was a field of 12 horses at Gulfstream. Jose Lezcano gets the mount. She could be any kind.
#2 Hot Summer- Scored an easy 7 length victory against allowance horses last out on 11/29 at Parx. Before that she broke her maiden at Monmouth. The stretch out looks like no problem on paper and trainer David Fawkes hits with 20% of his layoff horses. This is another girl with a shot that is tough to read.
#3 Evil Queen- By the sire Hear No Evil who sired last years Preakness Stakes third place finisher Jackson Bend. She finished third at a whopping 82-1 in the Forward Gal last out . Her numbers are improving with every race. I don’t see her winning here, but the filly could help make for a juicy superfecta if she gets third or fourth.
#4 Oh Carole- I love her debut win at Keeneland where she rolled to the front for an easy ¾ length win after sitting mid pack most of the way. She scored a similarly easy win next out on 1/30 which was impressive considering she was sitting on just over 100 days of rest. Julien Leparoux hops off to ride Dancinginherdreams so JJ Castellano will get the mount. Eddie Kenneally doesn’t enter horses in stakes races unless they are ready. This filly is my second choice.
#5 R Heat Lightning- Was beaten 2 1/4 lengths by a Florida bred in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies. After that she finished a lacking fourth in the Forward Gal after going wide the entire way. The classy lass won the Grade 1 Spinaway last year so she is no stranger to taking the big ones. I can forgive her last race as it was the first of the year and her trip wasn’t good. If they let her off at a price you have to use her. Price would dictate how I handle this one. She definitely has a big shot though.
#6 Bellaridge- Finished 5th to our #1 rated three-year-old filly Kathmanblu in the Sweet Chant Stakes last out on the grass. She is clearly better on the dirt, but may be outclassed in this spot for William Bradley of Brass Hat fame.
#7 Roxy Gap- Mark Casse trainee lost for the first time after winning her first three races last out in the Old Hat Stakes. She was 5 1/4 lengths back of Pomeroys Pistol in that spot. That race race was her first time on dirt. New jockey Alex Solis might be well served to get her closer to the pace here.
#8 Pomeroys Pistol- Proved her second place finish at 34-1 in the Old Hat was no joke by returning to win the Forward Gal. She vied for the lead in that race before drawing clear by ¾ of a length. Look for Ramon Dominguez to put her on the lead. I’ve got a feeling she wont be able to hold off the closers here. Still, she warrants respect on the resume and because Dominguez is getting a leg up. The guy has been white hot lately.
#9 Dancinginherdreams- Trained by John T. Ward, conditioner of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. This filly has a great come from behind style and was flying late after swinging wide to be second in the Forward Gal. That was only her first race and she won the previous two including the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes. It looks like she can turn things around on Pomeroys Pistol here. The daughter of Tapit is working well and has the look of a future super star. I would not bet against her in the Davona Dale.
So there you have it! I’m going with Dancinginherdreams to win this thing. It would take a huge effort to beat her. I would use Oh Carole, R Heat Lightning and Hot Summer for the exacta.
Who do you like? Leave a comment and come back and brag if you are right!