Elusive Lady Faces Seven in Florida Oaks
Eight 3-year-old fillies entered the 1 1/16-mile dirt test, one of three grade III events on the Tampa Festival program.
Trained by John Kimmel for Gold Mark Farm, the Florida-bred Elusive Lady won two of four starts as a 2-year-old, including Aqueduct's Tempted Stakes (gr. III) Oct. 28. Elusive Lady ran second in the Demoiselle (gr. II) at Aqueduct a month later. The daughter of Van Nistelrooy made her 3-year-old debut in Gulfstream Park's 6 1/2-furlong Old Hat Jan. 12 but had to be steadied early and was eased out of the race by jockey Eibar Coa. She finished last.
Cornelio Velasquez takes over on Elusive Lady, the only graded winner in the field. The gray filly has earned $136,538.
Calico Bay, a two-time stakes winning daughter of Three Wonders, comes off an eight-length win for jockey Manoel Cruz in the filly division of the OBS Championship at Ocala Training Center Feb. 11. Calico Bay came from off the pace in the 1 1/16-mile test for her third lifetime win in eight starts. The bay filly has earned $395,950 for owners Herbert and Ione Elkins and trainer William Kaplan.
Calico Bay, who won the My Dear Girl division of the Florida Stallion Stakes by four lengths last year, has finished in the money six times and has won two of her four attempts at the 1 1/16-mile distance. Cruz, who has been aboard the bay filly in all but one of her starts, retains the mount.
Kinsman Stable's Unfolding Wish, winner of her first three starts, finished third last time out in the seven-furlong Gasparilla Jan. 19 at Tampa Bay by a half-length. The Dale Bennett trainee captured the Sandpiper Stakes over the Oldsmar oval Dec. 29. The daughter of Gilded Time makes her first start in a route race.
Awesome Chic, winner of the Gasparilla who followed that effort with a third-place finish in the OBS Sprint, also tries two turns for the first time for trainer Rafael Ramos.
My Baby Baby, No Use Denying and Dee's Rose -- the second, third and fourth place finishers, respectively, in the one-mile Suncoast Feb. 16 at Tampa -- also return in the Florida Oaks. Recent Gulfstream maiden winner Dattts R Girl Addy completes the field.
$200,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III, Race 10, 4:50 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. No Use Denying (KY), 116, Willie Martinez
2. Dattts R Girl Addy (KY), 116, Eibar Coa
3. Calico Bay (FL), 122, Manoel R. Cruz
4. Elusive Lady (FL), 122, Cornelio H. Velasquez
5. Awesome Chic (FL), 116, (No Rider)
6. My Baby Baby (KY), 116, John R. Velazquez
7. Dee's Rose (FL), 116, Daniel Centeno
8. Unfolding Wish (FL), 116, Jose A. Velez Jr.
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