Falls City winner Miss Isella faces undefeated One Caroline in the Sabin Stakes.

Falls City winner Miss Isella faces undefeated One Caroline in the Sabin Stakes.

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography

One Caroline Eyes Bigger Prize in Sabin

The filly will make her stakes debut Feb. 20

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s good-looking filly One Caroline, undefeated in three starts and a runaway winner in optional claiming company last month, dives into stakes competition for the first time when taking on eight fillies and mares in the $100,000 Sabin Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park.

A 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song, One Caroline has been nothing short of sensational since launching her career last May. The gray/roan filly broke her maiden at first asking going two turns at Churchill Downs, then came back a month later at the same 1 1/16-mile distance to destroy a field of allowance horses by nearly seven lengths.

After nearly seven months off, trainer Rusty Arnold brought One Caroline to Gulfstream on Jan. 15 for her 2009 debut – and she sparkled once again. The Kentucky-bred filly took the one-mile event by 6 3/4 lengths in wire-to-wire fashion while being ridden out by Javier Castellano.

The Sabin, which is the feature on Gulfstream’s Friday card, will also be at one mile on the main track, which should make One Caroline very formidable once again – especially since she has turned in a pair of bullet moves at Palm Meadows Training Center since that last victory.

Bred by Payson Stud and out of the Broad Brush mare Powder, One Caroline was a $400,000 yearling purchase back in 2006. Edgar Prado will take over riding duties.

Though One Caroline has looked like a world-beater, she will be facing a number of graded stakes winners for the first time, including Domino Stud’s Miss Isella, who captured the Falls City Handicap (gr. II) in her last start at Churchill. Trained by Ian Wilkes, Miss Isella won the nine-furlong Falls City by a length under Calvin Borel while coming from well off the pace. It was her stakes debut.

Miss Isella, a 4-year-old daughter of Silver Charm, has been freshened since the Nov. 27 Falls City and has also been working at Palm Meadows leading up to her 2009 debut. Overall, she is 4-1-1 from 11 lifetime starts. Borel gets the call once again.

Mark Stanley’s Swift Temper has not been in the best of form lately, but the Giant's Causeway  filly did triumph in the one-mile Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) four starts ago at Ellis Park. The Dale Romans' trainee finished a disappointing eighth in allowance company Jan. 17 at Gulfstream in her seasonal debut. The winner of that seven-furlong race was Stormin Mon, who will also start in the Sabin.

Stormin Mon, a 5-year-old trained by Marty Wolfson, stalked the pace in the sprint, took over at the top of the lane and cruised home by 4 1/2 lengths. It was her first win since September 2007.

Other entrants of note are Dreaming of Liz, who won the Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) as a juvenile in 2007, and Alina, a Steve Asmussen-trained filly that has been graded stakes placed twice in her career but will be making her first start since June. Alina was runner-up to the late Eight Belles last April in the Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.

The Sabin will go to post as race 8 and is scheduled for 4:42 p.m. EDT.

Sabin Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, 4:42 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 Mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Swift Temper (KY), 122, Alan Garcia
2. Dreaming of Liz (KY), 122, E. T. Baird
3. Miss Isella (KY), 122, Calvin H. Borel
4. Fancy Fusaichi (KY), 120, Julien R. Leparoux
5. One Caroline (KY), 118, Edgar S. Prado
6. Alina (KY), 120, Kent J. Desormeaux
7. Stormin Mon (KY), 116, Jermaine V. Bridgmohan
8. So Glitzy (FL), 118, Jose Lezcano
9. Cat Can Do (FL), 120, Eibar Coa