Callwood Dancer, Canada's Sovereign Award champion turf mare in 2008, takes on nine rivals in the $125,000 Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT) over the Gulfstream Park turf Feb. 1.
The Suwannee River is a supporting feature on the program for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT).
Callwood Dancer comes off a sharp second-place finish to the hot Wild Promises in the My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course Dec. 13, beaten by only one length. The Irish-bred 5-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer could go favored in the Suwannee River, a 1 1/8-mile test of older fillies and mares that also attracted recent Gulfstream turf stakes winner Waquoit's Love.
Trained by Roger Attfield, Callwood Dancer won the Nassau Stakes (Can-II) in 2008 and finished second in the Canadian Stakes (Can-II) and E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I), all at Woodbine, before shipping to South Florida for the winter season. Owned by Three Chimneys Racing and Harlequin Ranch, Callwood Dancer is making her first start at Gulfstream Park. She'll be ridden again by Javier Castellano, who was aboard in the My Charmer.
Callwood Dancer has a record of 6-4-5 in 20 starts with earnings of $710,763. Five of her wins have come on the lawn and two of those were at the nine-furlong distance.
Waquoit’s Love, knocking on the door for her first stakes win for some time, captured the Marshua’s River Stakes over the course on Jan. 11. The 6-year-old daughter of Not For Love ran fifth at odds of 34-1 in the My Charmer before that win.
Rene Douglas rides for trainer Tim Hills. Waquoit's Love has not been out of the money in six starts on the Gulfstream grass, winning twice.
Anstu Stables' The Niagara Queen, another Canadian runner wintering in Florida, deserves a look here with jockey John Velazquez aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Niagara Queen knocked off Callwood Dancer and several others in Woodbine's Dance Smartly (Can-II) on a course rated good last summer.
The Ontario-bred 6-year-old could dictate the pace in this spot, but she has not won in four prior tries on the Gulfstream lawn. The Niagara Queen opened up a nine-length advantage in her most recent start, the La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) at Calder Dec. 13. But she failed to last and crawled home ninth.
Helen Groves’ 6-year-old homebred mare Tejida comes into the Suwannee River after an impressive win over the course at the meet. Jockey Jose Lezcano rides the daughter of Rahy for trainer Michael Matz. Tejida rallied from last of 12 to win a tough allowance on Jan. 9 and finished second in both of her starts at Gulfstream last year.
Grade II winner Mushka, trained by Bill Mott for Brushwood Stable, seeks to rebound from a troubled 10th-place finish in the Marshua's River when she was forced to steady leaving the far turn.
Completing the field for the Suwannee River are Augustin Stable’s Long Approach, Julien Leparoux; Bentley Smith’s Lady Carlock, Jermaine Bridgmohan; J. Mack Robinson’s Drop a Line, Ramon Dominguez; Brian Rose’s Ballymore Lady, Edgar Prado; and Farnsworth Stables’ Flibberjibit, Eddie Castro.
$125,000 Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 4:07 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Long Approach (PA), 116, Julien R. Leparoux
2. Lady Carlock (KY), 116, Jermaine V. Bridgmohan
3. Waquoit's Love (MD), 120, Rene R. Douglas
4. Drop a Line (KY), 116, Ramon A. Dominguez
5. Ballymore Lady (KY), 118, Edgar S. Prado
6. The Niagara Queen (ON), 122, John R. Velazquez
7. Callwood Dancer (IRE), 122, Javier Castellano
8. Mushka (KY), 122, Kent J. Desormeaux
9. Tejida (KY), 116, Jose Lezcano
10. Flibberjibit (KY), 118, Eddie Castro