Live Lively
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Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin

Live Lively Puts in Gulfstream Oaks Breeze

Davona Dale Stakes winner to face Dreaming of Julia in March 30 rematch.

Live Lively, expected to be one of the favorites for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) following two impressive wins at the meet, breezed a half-mile in :49.78 on the morning of March 24 at Palm Meadows Training Center.

The Gulfstream Park Oaks, contested at 1 1/8 miles, is one of six graded stakes on the Besilu Stables Florida Derby program March 30, and is a major prep for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).

"She went nice and easy, really easy. It's all we needed. She had a strong work last week," trainer Mark Hennig said. "We didn't want to do too much with her this week. She was nice and relaxed."

Live Lively breezed a half-mile March 17 at Palm Meadows in :47.33, which was second-best of 48 on the morning. Her latest drill ranked 19th of 43.

Worth 100 points to the winner, a Gulfstream Oaks victory guarantees a starting slot in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 3 should the race be oversubscribed.

Live Lively, owned by Lee Lewis, is riding a three-race winning streak. After winning a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race at Aqueduct Racetrack in her second lifetime start, the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro  captured a seven-furlong allowance by 11 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream Jan. 1. Making the jump to graded company, Live Lively set all the pace to capture the seven-furlong Davona Dale (gr. II) by 1 1/2 lengths over Dreaming of Julia Feb. 23.

The dark bay or brown filly, out of the stakes-winning Smoke Glacken mare Glacken's Gal, would be making her first start around two turns in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.

"She's an outstanding-looking individual. Talent-wise, I feel like there's still a lot to see. She's done everything we've asked of her, and I've asked a lot of her," Hennig said. "To run two turns in a graded stake is a lot to ask, because she didn't really get a lot of experience out of that first race at Gulfstream. She was never around any other horses. I think she's adapting and got a lot out of that last race. It should move her forward."

Stonestreet Stables' Dreaming of Julia, also scheduled to run in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, breezed an easy half in :50.90 Sunday at Palm Meadows for trainer Todd Pletcher.

"It was a good steady work. The half-mile time doesn't look impressive, but I clocked the last three-eighths afterwards and it was impressive," Pletcher said of the daughter of A.P. Indy. "She galloped out great and she's coming up to this race well."

Second in the Davona Dale in her first start of the year, Dreaming of Julia won last year's Frizette Stakes (gr. I) before running third in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).