Under a cool front end ride from John Velazquez, even-money favorite Sis City hit the stretch six lengths in front and drew way off for an eye-raising 16-length win in the $150,000 Davona Dale (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Velazquez chalked up his third stakes win in three tries on the Gulfstream program. He won earlier in a pair of sprints for 3-year-olds – Proud Accolade in the Hutcheson (gr. II) and the filly Maddalena in the Old Hat (gr. III).
"She was very comfortable and easy and going through the motions," Velazquez said. "I gave her a slap and she just got up. Holy cow! She really surprised me. I slapped her with the whip and she started running. I thought she finished up pretty quick, that's when I knew she was going really fast."
Owned by a partnership that includes New York Yankees manager Joe Torre and Sanford Goldfarb – who claimed her for $50,000 in June – Sis City closed her 2-year-old campaign with a front running 3 3/4-length win in the Demoiselle (gr. II) at Aqueduct Nov. 27. She was even more impressive in the Davona Dale, leading every step of the way while completing the 1 1/8-mile trip in 1:50 1/5.
Moving easily in hand through early fractions of :23 2/5 and :47 4/5, Sis City was 1 1/2 lengths clear on the far turn as third choice In the Gold, ridden by Edgar Prado, tried to put the pressure on. But coming out of the turn, Sis City responded powerfully and drew off under a strong hand ride.
Sis City, who finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filles (gr. I) and third in Belmont Park's Frizette (gr. I) last fall, has now won four times in eight starts with two thirds and earnings of $371,980.
The Davona Dale is her second 16-length stakes victory. She won the Mongo Queen by that margin last summer at Monmouth.
"She rated real good for Johnny," said winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. "We put her in (the Mongo Queen after the claim) and she just ran away from them, so we knew we had a good horse."
In the Gold finished second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of Jill Robin L. Mocita, second favorite Dance Away Capote, and Leona's Knight trailed.
The Kentucky-bred daughter of Slew City Slew
-Smart Sis (Beau Genius
) paid $4, $2.40 and $2.10. In the Gold returned $2.80 and $2.40. Jill Robin L, making her graded stakes debut, was $2.60 to show.