Zabeel Racing International’s 4-year-old filly Game Face won the First Lady Stakes (gr. III) by three parts of a length over Joseph V. Shields Jr.’s 6-year-old mare Any Limit on Jan. 18, and the two talented sprinters meet once again Feb. 15 on the $125,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (gr. III) going 6 1/2 furlongs on Gulfstream’s main track.
Jockey John R. Velazquez will be back aboard Game Face for trainer Todd Pletcher as the daughter of Menifee will likely be favored to post the fourth graded-stakes victory of her career. She won the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) in Florida early last year and the La Troienne (gr. III) at Churchill Downs in the spring.
Regular rider Cornelio Velasquez will ride Any Limit, who won the 2007 edition of the First Lady and Hurricane Bertie, but missed last year’s meet. Trained by Allen Jerkens, the homebred daughter of Limit Out was in top form last summer winning the First Flight Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park and Honorable Miss Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga.
Michael Bello’s 4-year-old filly Lovely Isle could be a threat on a good day for trainer Bobby Frankel with Edgar Prado picking up the mount. The daughter of Double Honor shipped in from California to finish third in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint last out on Jan. 25 after capturing the Kalookan Queen Handicap at Santa Anita on New Year’s Eve.
Completing the field of five fillies and mares drawn for the Hurricane Bertie are Caroni Stable’s Orinoquia, Eibar Coa; and Timothy O’Toole’s Saratoga Tango, Pedro Monterrey, Jr.