Jan. 19, 2013
Lady Stonewall Favored in Dixie Belle
With an impressive maiden score November 15, sharp workouts and a red-hot jockey, Charles J. Cella’s Lady Stonewall was installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite for Sunday’s $60,000 Dixie Belle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The six-furlong race, the first in the series culminating with the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 10, had been originally scheduled for last Saturday when the track was forced to cancel due to severe rain.
Lady Stonewall, a Harlan’s Holiday filly trained by Lynn Whiting, only has two starts under her belt, but has done little wrong. She finished second in her October debut at Keeneland to Cor Cor, who went on to become a stakes winner, and then won her very next start. She will be ridden by jockey Robby Albarado, who has already won eight races over just three days of races to lead the standings. The leading rider in 1996 and ’97, Albarado is riding full time at Oaklawn for the first time since ’97.
The favorite will have her work cut out for her with seven other talented fillies in the field, including the already proven stakes winner American Sugar. Last year, Poindexter Thoroughbred’s Harlan Holiday filly won the Prairie Gold Lassie at Prairie Meadows and the E.L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes at Remington Park. In addition, she finished third to colts in the Prairie Meadows Juvenile. The Lynn Chleborad trainee will have the services of jockey Alex Birzer.
Other fillies likely to draw some attention are K.K. and Devi Jayaraman’s undefeated Baby Princess and Bluegrass Hall’s Neith, who switches back to the main track after several turf races.
The complete field for the Dixie Belle, in post-position order, with riders and morning line odds: Baby Princess, Ramon Vazquez, 3-1; No Free Ride, Rosemary Homeister Jr., 15-1; Lady Stonewall, Robby Albarado, 8-5; My Daughter’s Song, Lindey Wade, 12-1; Sheila Tequila, 12-1, Terry Thompson; Neigh, Victor Lebron, 8-1; Little Miss Fitz, Ricardo Santana Jr., 15-1, and American Sugar, Alex Birzer, 3-1.
Cheery Even Money in American Beauty
Claiborne Farm & Adele Dilschneider’s Cheery was made the heavy even money favorite for Sunday’s $60,000 American Beauty Stakes against a short, but talented field of six. The 4-year-old Distorted Humor filly enters the six-furlong race off a close second to graded stakes winner Salty Strike in the Dream Supreme Stakes at Churchill Downs Nov. 23. That race, her stakes debut, snapped a three-race win streak for Cheery, who will be ridden Sunday by Victor Lebron.
Also entering the American Beauty after running in the Dream Supreme is Sam’s Bliss, the third-place finisher. The 5-year-old filly then went on to finish second in an allowance race at Fair Grounds Dec. 19. She will be ridden by jockey Cliff Berry, who has already teamed up with trainer Bret Calhoun to win the opening day Fifth Stakes with Donoharm. Last year, Calhoun won this race with Gleaming.
All About Allie has been the dominate Arkansas-bred stakes winning female the last two years and now tries her hand at open company. She most recently finished fifth in an allowance race at Remington Park. Two races back, she finished second in the Flashy Lady Stakes at Remington.
The complete field for the American Beauty, in post-position order with riders and morning line odds: Formal Plan, Greta Kuntzweiler, 10-1; All About Allie, Luis Quinonez, 9-2; Cheery, Victor Lebron, even; Sam’s Bliss, Cliff Berry, 5-2; Mysterious Chimes, Ramon Vazquez, 4-1, and Hong Kong Silver, Robby Albarado, 4-1.
Alternation Gets Back To Work
Pin Oak Stable’s Alternation, given a breather after the Hawthorne Gold Cup last October, returned to the worktab Saturday, posting a three-furlong workout in 38 4/5 under regular jockey Luis Quinonez. Last season, the Distorted Humor horse swept Oaklawn’s Essex, Razorback (G3) and Oaklawn (G2) Handicaps before extending his streak to four in the Pimlico Special last May.
“He broke off a little slow, but then did :12 and :12 for the rest of the work,” said trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel. “I thought he looked good doing it. We’ll just let him tell us when he’s ready.”
Alternation won’t defend his title in the Feb. 2 Essex Handicap, but could return in time for the March 9 Razorback, although the April 14 Oaklawn Handicap is the primary goal.
Jockey Jenna Joubert, who was dismounted when her horse stumbled leaving the gate for Friday’s second race, was bruised, but otherwise o.k. and back working horses Saturday morning … Two leading 3-year-olds from last year moved a little closer to their 4-year-old debuts by posting their first workouts of the year Saturday. Shortleaf Stable’s Atigun, third in the 2012 Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Marathon, breezed three furlongs in 38 for trainer Kenny McPeek, while Dream Walkin Farm’s Reckless Jerry, second in the Smarty Jones and third in the first division of the Southwest, breezed three furlongs in 38 1/5 for trainer Kenny Smith … Bluegrass Hall’s Skyring, second in the opening day Fifth Season Stakes, wasted no time getting back to the track, breezing a half mile in 52 3/5 Saturday ... Miss Arkansas, Sloan Roberts, will present the trophy for Sunday’s American Beauty Stakes.