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Breeders Cup 2015

Akilina, Cure For Sale Head South Beach

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

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 Diamondrella.

Another threat in the wide-open South Beach 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 Beach 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.




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