Dank, winner of the Kilboy Estate Stakes (Ire-II) last time out July 21 at the Curragh, made it two in a row with a brilliant 4 1/4-length score in the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park on Aug. 17. Favored Marketing Mix was fourth (VIDEO).
The winner, a 4-year-old daughter of Dansilli, owned by James Wigan and trained by Sir Michael Stoute, took the 1 3/16-mile event in record time and gave jockey Ryan Moore his second victory on Arlington's International Festival of Racing card. The final time of 1:53.38 tied the stakes record on a course labeled fast. Two races prior, Moore took the American St. Leger aboard Dandino.
"She's been real aggressive all year," Moore said. "She wasn't at her best over the last couple, but she was in excellent condition coming into this, and when she kicked in it was all over."
Dank rated well in sixth under Moore behind a pace set by 31-1 shot La Tia, who got the quarter in :23.62 and the half in :48.16 with Solid Appeal and 4-5 favorite Marketing Mix close behind. Those three went on ahead for three-quarters in 1:11.76 and a mile in 1:35.97 while Dank began her progression, swinging off the turn with a four-wide move.
From the head of the stretch to the wire, the bay filly closed with powerful strides and a strong late show of speed. She passed La Tia, who was gamely holding off the charge of Solid Appeal, then opened in the final sixteenth to win clear.
Gifted Girl got up for second by 1 1/2 lengths over Asus, who passed Marketing Mix by a head to claim the place. La Tia, Solid Appeal, Duntle, Artemus Kitten, and Starformer completed the order of finish in the field of nine.
Marketing Mix's rider, Gary Stevens, said Glen Hill Farm's multiple grade I winner by Medaglia d'Oro was pulling and not selling like she usually does.
"She was comfortable, but she was pulling, which took away from her kick," Stevens said. "I won't make any excuses—the winner ran a huge race to tie the stakes record. Normally she gives me a real feeling of confidence, but she didn't give it to me today. I knew a ways out it was going to be difficult."
Thomas Queally, jockey of Alan Spence's Gifted Girl, thought his mount got away slowly. But he was certainly pleased with the outcome.
"She ran a super race. There's still more to come for her," Queally said.
Dank returned $8.40, $5.60, and $4.20 at odds of 3-1, while 11-1 Gifted Girl paid $13.40 and $8.20. Asus brought $8 at 20-1.
Dank, bred in Great Britain by London Thoroughbred Services, improved her record to 6-2-1 from 11 starts with earnings of $685,021. The Beverly D. was her first grade I win.