Oak Bluff Stable’s 4-year-old filly Akilina and Meritage
Holdings’ 6-year-old Argentine-bred mare Cure for Sale
each placed in graded turf stakes last out and will be the likely favorites in
a field of 10 fillies and mares drawn for Saturday’s $50,000 South Beach Stakes
at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Joe Bravo is named to ride Akilina for trainer
Christophe Clement in the 7 ½ furlongs turf stake in her second start this year
after a strong third-place effort in the Honey Fox Stakes (G3) over the course
on Feb. 20. The chestnut daughter of Langfuhr shipped to New Orleans
to capture the Pago Hop Stakes at Fair Grounds on Dec. 5 in her previous start.
Leading rider Paco Lopez will be aboard Cure for Sale
for trainer Raja Malek after she finished second in both the Endeavour Stakes
(G3) and Hillsborough Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, the latter run on Mar.
13. The daughter of Not for Sale ran a big race last fall to finish fourth in
the First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, beaten just two lengths by
Another threat in the wide-open South
will be Farnsworth Stables’ 5-year-old mare Cherokee Queen with Elvis Trujillo
in the saddle for trainer Marty Wolfson as she makes her first start for new
connections following a private purchase since finishing a game second in an
allowance over the course on Mar. 20.
A daughter of Cherokee Run, Cherokee Queen finished a good
fifth in the Honey Fox for breeder J. Mack Robinson and trainer Graham Motion,
beaten only 2 ¼ lengths for it all in a good effort. In two prior allowance
starts over the course earlier in the meet she finished second and won.
A new player in the group entered in the South
will be Bjorn Nielsen’s 4-year-old Irish homebred filly Rose Diamond with Jesus
Castanon to ride for trainer Patrick Biancone in her east coast debut. The
daughter of Daylami was group stakes-placed in Europe with nine starts before
joining Biancone’s California
string in late summer.
Rose Diamond has made four starts since then, winning her
debut in a 6 ½-furlong allowance down the Hillside
course at Santa Anita in mid-October. She finished a solid fourth in the
seven-furlong La Brea Stakes (G1) on Dec. 26 over the synthetic track, beaten
only 2 ¼ lengths, and ninth last out in the El Encino Stakes (G2) on Jan. 17.
Completing the field for the South Beach are Sea Gull
Associates’ Noisy Feet, C.H. Marquez, Jr.; Ol Memorial Stable and C.E.
Glasscock’s Sandi’s Ready, E.T. Baird; George Schwartz’ Way With Words, Jose
Lezcano; Patsy Symons’ Meriwether Jessica, Alan Garcia; Jessica Coudelaria’s
West Hope, Fabio Arguello, Jr. and Shirley Duco’s Glotona, Luis Saez.