Charles Fipke’s 4-year-old filly Lady Shakespeare and Augustin Stable’s 6-year-old mare Long Approach are among the most accomplished turf stakes performers and the likely favorites in a full field of 12 entered in the $125,000 Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 6 at Gulfstream.
The 1 1/8-mile Suwannee is the last of three graded stakes on the Gulfstream program, which is highlighted by the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I).
Jockey John Velazquez rides Lady Shakespeare for trainer Roger Attfield as the full sister to major turf stakes star Shakespeare comes back from a good performance when rallying for second (dead-heat) in the Marshua’s River Stakes over the course Jan. 16, beaten only a head by the winner. She has won four of eight starts on turf.
Lady Shakespeare is a homebred of Fipke, by Theatrical, out of the That’s a Nice mare Lady Shirl. She is 5-1-1 from nine starts with earnings of $285,608. All five of the wins have come at Woodbine.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux will be atop Long Approach for trainer Jonathan Sheppard as she makes her first start since finishing fourth in the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs last Nov. 21. Prior to that, she was second to Criticism in the La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) at Calder in late April.
A homebred daughter of Broad Brush out of grade II winner Last Approach, Long Approach ran a good race to finish fourth in the Suwannee River last year, beaten 1 1/2 lengths with trouble in the race and fourth in The Very One Stakes (gr. IIIT) at 1 3/8 miles also won by Criticism. She carries an 11-race winless streak into the contest, her last win coming in September, 2007 at Delaware Park.
Sharing top weight of 122 pounds with Lady Shakespeare are Lemonette, an allowance winner Jan. 3 at Tampa Bay Downs in her 7-year-old debut, and French-bred mare Astrologie, a two-time stakes winner in Europe looking for her first win in North America after five straight defeats.
$125,000 Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 11, 6:07 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Aaroness (KY), E Trujillo, 118, M R Matz
2. Sweet and Flawless (KY), R Maragh, 118, E R Reed
3. Crawford County (KY), J Bravo, 118, J Secor
4. Long Approach (PA), K J Desormeaux, 118, J E Sheppard
5. Cable (KY), A Garcia, 118, C Clement
6. Astrologie (FR), R A Dominguez, 122, C Clement
7. Indigo North (ON), E S Prado, 120, E Coatrieux
8. Lemonette (KY), C H Velasquez, 122, E R Reed
9. In My Glory (KY), J L Castanon, 118, C Peery
10. Good Time Sally (KY), E Castro, 118, P L Biancone
11. Tottie (GB), J Lezcano, 118, C C Brown
12. Lady Shakespeare (KY), J R Velazquez, 122, R L Attfield
13. Miss Match (ARG) (MTO), J Lezcano, 118, M R Matz