Drawing the rail under Eibar Coa, the John Kimmel-trained Elusive Lady looks to improve off a second-place finish at Aqueduct in the Demoisel Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 24. The Van Nistelrooyfilly, bred in Florida and owned by Gold Mark Farm, was beaten 4 ½-lengths in the 1 1/8-mile race after winning the one-mile Tempted Stakes (gr. III) by 4 ¾-lengths at Aqueduct Oct. 28. She has two other starts behind her – a maiden win in a 6 ½-furlong race at Belmont and a sixth-place finish in her first start going six furlongs at Saratoga.
Third behind Elusive Lady in the Demoisel was Melissa Jo, a Fusaichi Pegasus filly bred in Kentucky and owned by Philip Birsh and William Gildin. That was only the filly’s third start and her first race off a 6 ½-furlong maiden win at Belmont. Prior to that effort, she was second in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight, also at Belmont. The Jimmy Jerkens trainee is a half-sister to grade III winner No Giveaway.
Trainer Martin Wolfson sends out Den-Pal Stables’ Flatter filly, the unbeaten Indy’s Alexandra. Winner of the 1 1/16-mile Three Ring Stakes at Calder by four lengths in her last start Dec. 1, the Kentucky-bred runner has two other wins at Calder – a five furlong maiden victory Sept. 29 and a 6 ½-furlong allowance start Oct. 28.
Breaking from the five hole under Edgar Prado is the impressive Florida-bred Lovely Isle, a 16 ½-length winner of her last race, a six furlong starter allowance at Aqueduct Dec. 6. By Double Honor, making her first start for trainer Richard Dutrow and owner Michael Bello after a private sale, the filly had only started once previously – earning a 3 ¾-length maiden victory at Aqueduct Oct. 31 while trained by Gary Contessa.
Steve Asmussen sends out Zayat Stables’ Throbbin’ Heart, a Smoke GlackenKentucky-bred who won the six furlong Xtra Heat Stakes in her last outing at Aqueduct Dec. 6. The $225,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling purchase had broken her maiden one start before, going six furlongs at Monmouth. Prior to that outing, she finished second in two maiden attempts.
The most expensive filly in the field, a $280,000 purchase from the OBS 2-year-olds in training sale, is the Todd Pletcher-trained Game Face. A Kentucky-bred by Menifee racing under the colors of Elite Racing Company, she comes off a maiden win at Aqueduct Nov. 23 and has a third and second from two other maiden attempts.
Cape Cod Lady, A Little Gem, Orinoquia, and Cozy Mesa complete the field.