(from Arlington Park report)
Multiple graded stakes winners Precious Kitten, Mauralakana, and locally-based Eclipse Award champion Dreaming of Anna, plus the well-regarded European invader Cicerole, are the headline attractions in the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) over the Arlington Park turf course.
The $750,000 race, which supports the Arlington Million (gr. IT) on a strong program, will be run at a distance of 1 3/16 miles. In addition to its lucrative purse, the Beverly D. offers the winner an automatic starting position in the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) under the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” format at Santa Anita Park Oct. 24-25.
Winner of the Gamely (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park in her last start May 26, Lael Stables’ 5-year-old Precious Kitten has had a light 2008 campaign thus far, her only other start coming in a fifth-place finish in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. Last year, the daughter of Catienus was queen of the West Coast with scores in the John C. Mabee (gr. IT) and Palomar (gr. IIT) handicaps at Del Mar, as well as a victory in the Matriarch (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Hailing from the barn of Bobby Frankel, Precious Kitten has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite and will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano. Frankel who has won two previous editions of the Beverly D., capturing the 1995 renewal with Possibly Perfect and scoring again in 2003 with Heat Haze.
Robert Scarborough’s French-bred Mauralakana rides a three-race win streak into the Beverly D. with successive scores in the $300,000 Mairzy Doates Handicap at Calder Race Course and the Sheepshead Bay (gr. IIT) and New York (gr. IIT) Handicaps at Belmont Park.
The only blemish on her 2008 ledger was a second-place finish in the Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Christophe Clement, also a two-time Beverly D. winner (England’s Legend in 2001 and Royal Highness in 2007), has named Kent Desormeaux, who captured the 1992 Beverly D. astride Kostroma, to ride.
Dreaming of Anna, the Eclipse Award winning 2-year-old filly in 2006, has made a name for herself on turf since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) on dirt two years ago. Frank Calabrese’s daughter of Rahy has won eight turf races and has never been worse then second in 11 starts on the grass.
The Wayne Catalano-trained 4-year-old is three-for-four this year with each of her victories coming in grade III turf stakes--the Endeavour and the Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs, and most recently the Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs. Eclipse Award winning rider Garrett Gomez, who rode Dreaming of Anna in the Mint Julep, gets the return call.
The Rothschild family, who campaigned 2001 Beverly D. winner England’s Legend, will send the French-bred filly Cicerole over for this year’s renewal. Runner-up in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-III) at England’s Epsom Downs in June, the daughter of Barathea is a multiple listed stakes winner in her native France. Trained by Jean Claude Rouget, the 4-year-old filly will be ridden by Spanish-born jockey Loritz Mendizabal.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Communique is three-for-five on turf this year with her most recent victory coming in the Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) over the course at the Beverly D. distance one month ago.The daughter of Smart Strike is trained by George “Rusty” Arnold II and will be ridden by five-time Arlington Park leading jockey Rene Douglas, who rode Royal Highness to victory in last year’s Beverly D.
Completing the field are Ciao, third in the Modesty last time out; Meribel, a close third behind Dreaming of Anna in the Endeavour; Rosinka, third in the Robert G. Dick Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park last month; and French invader Toque de Queda, fourth in the Prix Messidor (Fr-III) at Maisons-Lafitte last out.
$750,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT, Race 9, 3:50 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 3/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Dreaming of Anna (KY), Garrett K. Gomez, 7/2
2. Rosinka (IRE), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 8/1
3. Precious Kitten (KY), Rafael Bejarano, 9/5
4. Mauralakana (FR), Kent J. Desormeaux, 3/1
5. Ciao (KY), John R. Velazquez, 30/1
6. Meribel (KY), Robby Albarado, 20/1
7. Toque de Queda (GB), John P. Murtagh, 30/1
8. Communique (KY), Rene R. Douglas, 12/1
9. Cicerole (FR), Ioritz Mendizabal, 6/1
Each assigned 123 pounds.