Making her first appearance in a Grade I, Dubawi Heights
won her fourth in a row, wearing down pacesetter Celtic Princess late to take
the $250,000 Gamely Stakes by a head Monday at Hollywood Park.
A winner of the Grade III Wilshire Handicap in her initial
start of the Spring/Summer meet, Dubawi Heights was never far off the moderate
fractions under jockey Joel Rosario, then got the lead outside Celtic Princess,
a 9-1 shot making her first start of 2011, in the final strides.
Trained by Simon Callaghan for a partnership that includes
his father Neville, Clodagh McStay, M.V. Magnier and Annabel Wyatt, the
4-year-old English bred lost the first eight starts of her career in her
homeland and the United
States before beginning her roll.
The first win for the 4-year-old Dubawi filly out of the
Suave Dancer mare Rosie’s Posy came against maidens last Nov. 20 on the Hollywood
Park turf. She followed with an allowance score April 1 at Santa Anita before
her Wilshire and Gamely wins. Her latest grass success increased her earnings
Completing the 1/18 miles in 1:47.29, Dubawi Heights,
the 9-2 third choice in the field of eight, paid $11.40, $7 and $3.80.
Celtic Princess, who won gate-to-wire last Dec. 30 at Santa
Anita in her first start for trainer A C Avila, paid $12 and $5. Cozi Rosie,
the 19-10 favorite who finished 1 ¾ lengths behind Celtic Princess, returned $3
Restless Soul, the second longest shot in the cast at 27-1,
was fourth, 1 ½ lengths back of Cozi Rosie, then came Malibu Pier, the 2-1
second choice, Éclair de Lune, Turning Top, who is also trained by Callaghan,
and Madera Castana.
“Everything we’ve asked, she’s really come well for us, this
filly,’’ said Callaghan after the first Grade I victory of his career. “She’s
really improved and progressed each time.
“She was a good filly in Europe,
stakes placed as a 2-year-old, but she’s had various injuries and setbacks
which kept her off the track as a 3-year-old. She’s getting better with age and
maturing. Getting a Grade I means everything. I am delighted for all of the
owners. It’s fantastic. I couldn’t be happier.’’
Callaghan indicated Dubawi
Heights could be pointed to the
Beverly D. Stakes, a Grade I at 1 3/16 miles on turf which will be run Aug. 13
at Arlington Park.
The win was a meet high eighth in a stakes for Rosario and his first in
“That horse in front (Celtic Princess) got such an easy lead
early, but my filly was traveling really nice and I had a lot of confidence in
her,’’ said Rosario.
“Last year when I rode her she was behind horses and had a lot of trouble. Now
she showed me that she can run through anything. I can see the improvement from
race to race. She gets a hold of the track a lot better. The more she races,
the better she gets.’’
Rafael Bejarano, who rode the runner-up, was certainly happy
with the effort he got from the Brazilian bred.
“At the top of the stretch, I thought I was going to win the
race because I had so much confidence in her and she tries so hard,’’ said
Bejarano, who won this event in 2010 with the late Tuscan Evening and with
Precious Kitten in 2008. “She showed me a big kick. My horse and the other
horse (Dubawi Heights) were the only two that kept
running. They both finished really strong.’’