Arindel Farm's Wait a While, running for the Eclipse Award-winning duo of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez, demolished her six rivals in Saturday's $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at sloppy Gulfstream Park.
Wait a While, a $260,000 daughter of Maria's Mon
, seized the lead from the pacesetter Stolen Prayer on the turn and was in complete command through the stretch, winning by 14 lengths while completing the 1 1/8-mile test in 1:50 1/5 over the slop. The gray/oan filly earned her first graded stakes victory.
Wait a While Saturday had more problems loading into the gate than she did with her opponents. After holding up the start of the race for a couple of minutes, she finally made her way into the barrier and came out running a moment later. She settled into second on the outside of Stolen Prayer, who set solid fractions of :22 3/5, :45 3/5 and 1:09 2/5 under Eddie Castro. After getting the lead, Wait a While left the field behind.
"I didn't think she was ever going to get into the gate, but once I got off of her, she went right in," Velazquez said. "After that, all I was worried about was getting a good position. She broke fine, and when I got her in position, everything went great."
Pletcher said he remains most impressed by Wait a While's maiden-breaking five-length win on the Belmont Park turf in September, but will probably stay on the Kentucky Oaks' trail for now.
"I know that that's hard to say about a filly who just won the Davona Dale by as much as she did," he noted. "We've liked her a lot from the start, and we were very high on her before her first race at Saratoga.
"Then she disappointed us in the Demoiselle somewhat because she didn't go on after some moderate fractions, but I guess I have to keep her on the dirt now."
Teammate, the 9-5 favorite in the field of seven ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, ground out a second-place finish by a head over Wonder Lady Anne L and Rafael Bejarano. Stolen Prayer finished a head further back in fourth.
Wait a While, who won for the third time in her five-race career, was coming off a third-place finish behind Wonder Lady Anne L in the Demoiselle (gr. II) at Aqueduct to wrap up her 2-year-old campaign Nov. 26. The $90,000 winning share increased her bankroll to $187,280.
Out of the A.P. Indy
mare Flirtatious, Wait a While was bred in Kentucky by W.S. Farish and W. Temple Webber Jr.
The third choice of the public, Wait a While paid $8.80, $4 and $3. Teammate, who was making her stakes debut, returned $3.40 and $2.60. Wonder Lady Anne L, who also made her first start since the Demoiselle, was $2.80 to show.
Mia's Reflection, Meadow Skippin, and Bushfire trailed.