Daisy Devine Takes Aim at Keeneland Sweep
After winning the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IT) in the spring, Daisy Devine has the opportunity to become just the third female to sweep that 1 1/16-mile race and the $350,000 First Lady Stakes (gr. IT) in the same season. She will face five other accomplished fillies and mares in the Oct. 6 one-mile First Lady, where she will attempt to join Intercontinental (2005) and Never Retreat (2011) as the only horses to win the two races in the same season.
Daisy Devine has not raced since finishing fifth in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) on May 5 but trainer Andrew McKeever liked how the 4-year-old Kafwain filly looked in a four-furlong breeze in :48 3/5 on the Keeneland Polytrack on October 2 and expects an improved effort following the five-month rest.
"She had 40 days at Hunter Valley Farm," McKeever said. "She always gets a little break and comes back when she is ready, not before. That’s just the way she is."
A winner of five stakes races in her career, James Miller’s Daisy Devine has won both of her previous starts on the Keeneland turf, as she took the Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (gr. IIIT) last fall.
Frank Jones Jr.’s Tapitsfly won this year’s Longines Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park and the 5-year-old Tapit mare will try to bounce back from a sixth-place finish in the Ballston Spa Stakes (gr. IIT) on Aug. 25 at Saratoga Race Course.
Last year’s Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) winner Summer Soiree also raced in the Ballston Spa, where the 4-year-old War Front filly finished third. That effort marked a return to racing for Summer Soiree, who had not raced since ending last season with a runner-up finish in the Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Two-time grade II winner Hungry Island will try to break through with her first grade I win after finishing second to Zagora in the Ballston Spa, where she finished ahead of Tapitsfly and Summer Soiree.
$350,000 First Lady Stakes (gr. IT, Race 7, approximate post 4:17 p.m. EDT), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
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