A year ago Proviso finished first in Keeneland’s Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) on the Polytrack only to be disqualified and placed second. She returns to the Lexington track for the first time since then Oct. 9, and will be the favorite to win again, however this time it’s on the turf in the Abu Dhabi First Lady Stakes (gr. IT).
The one-mile First Lady figures to be right up Proviso’s alley, as the Juddmonte Farms’ homebred is unbeaten in three starts on turf this year, two at a mile and one at nine furlongs. Expected to give her a tussle is Bart Evans’ homebred Wasted Tears, who like Proviso has done nothing but win this year.
Proviso started the season with back-to-back mile wins: first a nose victory against open company in the Frank Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita and then a half-length score in the Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. On July 31 at Saratoga, she stretched out to 11/8 miles and won the Diana Stakes (gr. IT) by a head over Shared Account.
Proviso, a daughter of Dansili—Binche, by Woodman, is trained by Bill Mott and figures to be the strong choice in the First Lady.
Wasted Tears (Najran—Wishes and Roses, by Greinton) enters with a seven-race win streak in her Keeneland return. She’s unbeaten in five starts this year: a pair of wins at Gulfstream, followed by an impressive win over Forever Together in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in April, a neck score in the Ouija Board Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Lone Star, and a nose score at Del Mar Aug. 15 in the John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT).
Her three races at a mile this year have been run in 1:33.88; 1:33.81; and 1:33.25.
The First Lady is by no means a two-horse race. The Dale Romans-trained C. S. Silk and Augustin Stable’s Fantasia ran one-two in the Sept. 4 Addison Mallery Stakes at Saratoga. C. S. Silk, a winner over the Keeneland turf last fall, came back to have the lead down the stretch before tiring to finish sixth in the Noble Damsel Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont.
Another strong contender is Live Oak Plantation’s Dynaslew, winner of the Aug. 28 Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT) in her last effort for trainer Seth Benzel. The 4-year-old Dynaformer filly was fourth, beaten only a neck behind Proviso in the Diana.
$400,000 Abu Dhabi First Lady Stakes (gr. IT, race 8, 4:42 p.m.), fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1 mile (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1, C. S. Silk, K Desormeaux, 124, D Romans
2, Fantasia, J Leparoux, 124, J Sheppard
3, Gotta Have Her, G Gomez, 124, J Sahadi
4, Dynaslew, J Castellano, 124, S Benzel
5, West Hope, G Kuntzweiler, 124, E Caramori
6, Kiss Mine, J Court, 124, D Vance
7, Proviso, M Smith, 124, B Mott
8, Wasted Tears, R Maragh, 124, B Evans
9, Cure for Sale, M Mena, 124, R Malek