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Dank On Course for U.S. Return

Danks wins the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf
Photo: Don August

James Wigan’s Dank is the hands-down standout in the possibles for the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. Currently preparing to take on the best 10-furlong turf males in the world in the Group I Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Dank is on target for a campaign which hopes to emulate 2013, with victories in the Beverly D. and Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Her chief American competition could come from fillies she defeated in the Breeders’ Cup, including Juddmonte Farm’s Bill Mott-trained duo of runner-up Romantica and fourth-place finisher Emollient. While Romantica has yet to return to her 2013 form, Emollient was recently a very good second in the Grade I Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita.  Breeders’ Cup third-place finisher Alterite, from the ownership of multiple-Beverly D. trophy owner Martin Schwartz, is also nominated and has put in two good works since her return to training at Saratoga for Chad Brown.

Anselmo Cavalieri’s Gamely winner Miss Serendipity, from the barn of International Festival of Racing legend Ron McAnally, has the credentials to make some noise in the Beverly D., as does Hernandez Racing Club’s locally based mare La Tia, an ultra-impressive runaway winner of the Grade III Arlington Matron on May 24 and pace-setting fifth in last year’s Beverly D.  Trainer Armando De La Cerda has not ruled out another attempt for the speedy mare, especially since her 2014 campaign has shown marked improvement.

Lady Rothschild’s European mare Thistle Bird ran to a visually impressive victory in the Group III Princess Diana Stakes at Epsom on June 6 and is nominated for trainer Roger Charlton.  A 6-year-old daughter of Selkirk who seems to be coming into her own, she bested nine others in the left-turned 1 1/16-miles event over good ground.  Last year, the same race produced Beverly D. runner-up Alan Spence’s Gifted Girl.


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