The $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles and the $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III) highlight the undercard of Saturday's Donn Handicap (gr. I) program at Gulfstream Park.Grade I winner Society Selection leads the field in the Davona Dale while 2003 champion sprinter Cajun Beat will be the feature in the Deputy Minister.
The 17th running of the Davona Dale goes as the eighth event on the 12-race card, and the 15th running of the Deputy Minister is slated as race 11. The $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1), a showdown between 3-year-old champion Funny Cide and the multiple Grade 1 winner Medaglia d'Oro, is the 10th race. Society Selection, a 3-year-old daughter of Coronado's Quest trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, won the grade I Frizette Stakes last October at Belmont. Her most recent start came in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita last October, when she was in traffic trouble early and finished 10th in the field of 14.The bay filly, owned by Marjorie and Irving Cowan, has been training sharply over the Gulfstream track for her 3-year-old debut and will have Jerry Bailey aboard for the first time. One of her main rivals will be Stonerside Stable's Miss Coronado, also a daughter of Coronado's Quest. The Bobby Frankel-trained filly broke her maiden last out at Santa Anita. Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song made a memorable bow here on Jan. 19, running off to win an allowance race by nearly nine lengths. Carl Nafzger trains the daughter of Unbridled's Song, who broke her maiden at Churchill Downs in her previous race. Edgar Prado returns in the irons. Lee Lewis' Eye Dazzler made a winning 3-year-old debut here Jan. 9 when she ran away to a daylight victory in an allowance event. The Mark Hennig-trained filly ran second in the grade III Tempted Stakes and was third behind Society Selection in the Frizette last year. John Velazquez rides the daughter of Boundary for the first time. The others entered are Lillian and Murray Durst's Pick of the Pack, Jorge Chavez; Establo Madoca's Marina de Chavon, Jose Santos, and Erdenheim Farm's From Away, Pat Day. In the Deputy Minister, Cajun Beat will tote highweight of 123 pounds as he goes for his fourth straight stakes victory. The 4-year-old Grand Slam gelding, trained by Steve Margolis, gave Gygistar three pounds and beat him by a length and a half in the Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) here on Jan. 3. This time Cajun Bate gives Gygistar five pounds (123-118). Cajun Beat won the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) to finish his 3-year-old season, and before that took the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) at Turfway Park and the Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) at Calder. Cornelio Velasquez, who has been aboard in the last three wins, gets the call again. Mark Hennig trains Edward P. Evans' Gygistar, a 5-year-old gelding who ran fifth in last year's Deputy Minister. As a 3-year-old, the son of Prospector's Music won an allowance race and the Hallandale Beach Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream, and later that year won the grade I King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga. Last out, Gygistar came running late to take the place behind Cajun Beat in the Mr. Prospector. He goes from the rail Saturday, which could help with his late run. Jerry Bailey has the mount again. Allen Jerkens sends out Triple F Stable's Buju, a 4-year-old who has won two of his three career starts. The Maria's Mon colt makes his stakes debut here after an impressive allowance victory on Jan. 3, when he scored by more than three lengths in 1:08 4/5 for the six furlongs. Jose Santos has the mount as Buju is the lightweight in the field at 111 pounds. The others entered in the Deputy Minister are Battaglia, Lee and Divito's Coach Jimi Lee, 115, Pat Day; Kenneth English & Alan Braun's Alke, 112, John Velazquez; Binn, Morton & Marisol's True Direction, 116, Ramon Dominguez, and Buckram Oak Stable's American Style, 113, Edgar Prado. True Direction won the grade III Fall Highweight Handicap in 2002, but last year made only two starts, winning an allowance at Belmont.