Gorella and Honey Ryder plus a rising star from overseas top a deep line-up of 11 fillies and mares for Arlington Park's $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) on Saturday.
The 1 3/16-mile test over Arlington's turf course is the sister race to the Arlington Million (gr. IT) which also will be contested Saturday along with the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) for 3-year-olds as part of the suburban Chicago track's "International Festival of Racing."
Gorella was installed as a slight 5-2 favorite in the morning line. Martin S. Schwartz owns the 4-year-old Gorella, who is trained by Patrick Biancone, the team behind last year's Beverly D. heroine Angara. A daughter of Grape Tree Road, Gorella comes into the Beverly D. off a neck victory in the Just a Game Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park in June. As a 3-year-old last year, the French-bred filly ran third in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland in her North American debut on Oct. 15 and two weeks later finished third against male rivals in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. Julien Leparoux, who leads the nation in races won this year, has the mount Saturday.
Glencrest Farm LLC's Honey Ryder, listed second in the morning line at odds of 3-1, carries a three-race win skein into the Beverly D. after prevailing by a head as the odds-on choice in the $295,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup Handicap at Delaware Park in her last start. Previously, the Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Lasting Approval annexed the Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont in May and the Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park one month earlier. John Velazquez has been named to ride the 5-year-old mare.
The lone European and only 3-year-old in this year's Beverly D. lineup is Rising Cross. The daughter of Cape Cross
finished third in the Irish Oaks (gr. IT) at the Curragh in her most recent start after finishing an uncharacteristic eighth in the Italian Oaks (Ity-I) at San Siro in June. Previously, the John Best pupil ran second when she stumbled a furlong from home in the English Oaks (gr. IT) at Epsom. Martin Dwyer makes the journey to partner with the British-bred filly.
Courtland Farms' Film Maker, a daughter of Dynaformer
, returned to the races in June with a 3 ¼-length victory in the All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs, her lone start this year. The H. Graham Motion trainee won the La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) at Calder Race Course to close out 2005 after finishing third in both the Alberto VO5 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) and the Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT), both at Belmont Park.$750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT, Race 8, 3:42 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 3/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Gorella (FR), 123, Julien R. Leparoux
2. Sharp Lisa (KY), 123, Edgar S. Prado
3. Chic Dancer (KY), 123, Christopher A. Emigh
4. Rising Cross (GB), 117, Martin J. Dwyer
5. Wend (KY), 123, Garrett K. Gomez
6. Honey Ryder (KY), 123, John R. Velazquez
7. Live Life (FR), 123, Victor Espinoza
8. Minge Cove (KY), 123, Shaun Bridgmohan
9. Royal Copenhagen (FR), 123, Rene R. Douglas
10. Rich in Spirit (FL), 123, Mark Guidry
11. Film Maker (KY), 123, Ramon A. Dominguez