Grade I winner R Heat Lightning, second to undefeated Eclipse champion Awesome Feather in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), makes her 2011 racing debut in the $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 30.
Her competition includes John Oxley’s flashy Dancinginherdreams, impressive winner of both of her starts last year.
The Forward Gal, at seven furlongs, drew seven 3-year-old fillies. It is race 8 at 4:16 p.m. EST, two races before sophomore colts and geldings square off in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at one mile.
E. Paul Robsham Stable’s homebred R Heat Lightning won two of five starts as a 2-year-old for trainer Todd Pletcher and finished second in her other three races. She won Saratoga's Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at the Forward Gal distance by four lengths in September.
The Spinaway preceded back-to-back runner-up finishes in Belmont Park's Frizette Stakes (gr. I) and the 1 1/16-mile BC Juvenile Fillies Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. In the latter race the pacesetting R Heat Lightning, in her first try around two turns, led in the stretch before weakening inside the eighth pole to finish 2 1/4 lengths behind Awesome Feather.
John Velazquez retains the mount on R Heat Lightning in her first race since the Breeders' Cup. The Florida-bred filly by Trippi earned $612,800 as a 2-year-old, far outpacing her Forward Gal rivals. The bay breaks from post 4 with top weight of 122 pounds.
Julien Leparoux will be back aboard Dancinginherdreams for trainer John Ward as the daughter of Tapit makes her first start since capturing the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Oct. 31. Leparoux also partnered the gray/roan filly in her brilliant debut maiden, which she won by five lengths at Keeneland three weeks earlier.
Dancinginherdreams was a $350,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase who has been training exceptionally well at Palm Meadows for her return.
Devilish Lady, a six-time winner in 10 starts for Cairoli Stable and trainer Antonio Sano, bids for her fifth consecutive victory--all with jockey Daniel Centeno. Sano claimed the daughter of Sweetsouthernsaint for $16,000 at Calder in late September, and she won the Joe O’Farrell Stakes there by 7 ¾ lengths two starts later. She most recently posted a 6 3/4-length triumph in the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs Jan. 15.
Cash is King's Pennsylvania-bred Alexandra Rylee romped in Parx Racing's Brandywine Stakes at Philadelphia Park for trainer Robert Reid Jr. in her last start Dec. 21.
Pomeroys Pistol comes into the Forward Gal off a second in the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) over six furlongs at Gulfstream Park Jan. 5 for Hardacre Farm and trainer Amy Tarrant.
$200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:16 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Evil Queen (FL), J Sanchez, 116, S I Gold
2. Pomeroys Pistol (FL), P Lopez, 116, A Tarrant
3. Third Chance (IL), J Bravo, 116, J P DiVito
4. R Heat Lightning (FL), J R Velazquez, 122, T A Pletcher
5. Devilish Lady (FL), D Centeno, 118, A Sano
6. Dancinginherdreams (KY), J R Leparoux, 120, J T Ward, Jr.
7. Alexandra Rylee (PA), R Maragh, 118, R E Reid, Jr.