Wait a While and French Park, early season leaders in the Florida 3-year-old filly division, clash for the first time in Sunday's $150,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
The 1 1/8-mile Bonnie Miss is a race likely to produce a candidate or two for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on May 5.
Jockey John Velazquez will be aboard Arindel Farm's Wait a While for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Bonnie Miss, likely a solid favorite in the field of seven. She recorded a smashing 14-length victory in the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) over the track and distance, but with 'sloppy' conditions, on Feb. 4.
Wait a While is a roan/gray daughter of Maria's Mon
purchased for $260,000 at the OBS February 2-year-old sales. The Davona Dale was her first start since finishing third in the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct on Nov. 26.
Jockey Mark Guidry gets back aboard Stevestan Stable's French Park after missing the mount when she finished second by a head last out as the favorite in the Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) at Louisiana Downs, her first defeat after sweeping her first three starts last fall in Kentucky.
French Park is a roan/gray daughter of Ecton Park
trained by Helen Pitts, who is having a remarkably successful first year training on her own after serving as Ken McPeek's top assistant for several years. French Park won the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. III) and Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs last year with Guidry aboard.
Another accomplished contender in the Bonnie Miss is IEAH Stables and partners' Wonder Lady Anne L, winner of the Demoiselle last fall over Wait a While. Trained by Rick Dutrow, Wonder Lady Anne L is a daughter of Real Quiet
originally purchased by previous connections for $8,000 at the OBS August yearling sales.
Edgar Prado gets the call on Wonder Lady Anne L, who made her first three starts last spring at Calder for trainer Tim Ritvo before being sold privately to Dutrow's clients. She finished third in two New York stakes prior to her 10-1 upset in the Demoiselle. Wonder Lady Anne L also made her season debut in the Davona Dale, finishing a distant third.Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:14 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Smart N Pretty (KY), 116, Rafael Bejarano
2. Teammate (KY), 116, Cornelio H. Velasquez
3. Wonder Lady Anne L (KY), 120, Edgar S. Prado
4. Mia's Reflection (FL), 120, Manoel R. Cruz
5. French Park (KY), 122, Mark Guidry
6. Better Now (KY), 120, Javier Castellano
7. Wait a While (KY), 120, John R. Velazquez