The 4-year-old daughter of Dansili captured the Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot, winning convincingly by 2 1/4 lengths last June, and was runner-up by two lengths after a slow break in the Feb. 8 Suwannee River (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park in her U.S. and season debut for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Riposte, out of group III winner Rainbow Lake, is a half sister to group I winner Powerscourt, group III scorer Last Train, and Kind, dam of the phenomenal Frankel. She will be piloted by Julien Leparoux while carrying high weight of 122 pounds as the 2-1 morning line favorite from post 6.
Trainer Chad Brown has a solid contender in Martin Schwartz's 4-year-old Waterway Run. Schwartz and Brown teamed up to win the 2012 Hillsborough with Zagora, who went on to win the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) and an Eclipse Award for champion turf female.
Waterway Run, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Arch purchased overseas by Schwartz, is 3-for-9 with a group III victory to her credit as a 2-year-old in England. She came to the U.S. in 2012 to try the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT), but was sixth, then returned to England with no success in three starts before coming to Brown's Florida string.
"It looks like she has plenty of ability, and she should fit well in graded stakes company in America," said the trainer, who saddled Waterway Run to a runner-up finish in allowance company at Gulfstream on Feb. 7.
Waterway Run carries 120 pounds and will be ridden by Jose Lezcano from post 2. She is 7-2 on the morning line.
Pin Oak Stud's homebred Cloud Scapes carries a 2-for-2 streak at Tampa Bay into this 1 1/8-mile turf event for older fillies and mares. She took the Jan. 25 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) for trainer Graham Motion off a six-length December allowance win. Erick Rodriguez retains the mount; the Smart Strike filly carries 120 from the 4 hole.
Another of interest is Glen Hill Farm's Gulsary, who targets this race for trainer Tom Proctor from France via California. The Galileo runner who made her first 10 starts in Europe got started in the U.S. with an allowance victory at Santa Anita Park in October 2013. She is seeking her first North American stakes score after a trio of thirds in races at 1 1/8 miles, 1 1/16 miles, and eight furlongs. Last time out, she got up to show in the one-mile Megahertz StakesJan. 18 on the Santa Anita lawn. Javier Castellano rides from post 3.
$150,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 9, approximate post 4:25 p.m. EST), fillies & mares 4YOs & Up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Donna’s Fly Girl (KY), M. Allen, 116, G R Aschinger, 20-1
2. Waterway Run (PA), J. Lezcano, 120, C C Brown, 7-2
3. Gulsary (IRE), J. Castellano, 116, T F Proctor, 5-2
4. Cloud Scapes (KY), E.D. Rodriguez, 120, H G Motion, 9-2
5. Thecushmaker (IL), B. Pedroza, 116, D H Hinsley, 30-1
6. Riposte (GB), J.R. Leparoux, 122, W I Mott, 2-1
7. E B Ryder (FL), R.D. Allen, Jr., 116, M D Wolfson, 6-1
8. Liberated (KY) (MTO), G. Boulanger, 116, V H Oliver, 5-1
9. Enchanted Party (KY), A. Serpa, 116, A Delacour, 20-1