Photo: Oaklawn Park
With an impressive maiden score November 15, sharp workouts and a
red-hot jockey, Charles J. Cella’s Lady Stonewall was installed as the
8-5 morning line favorite for Sunday’s $60,000 Dixie Belle Stakes for
3-year-old fillies. The six-furlong race, the first in the series
culminating with the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 10, had been
originally scheduled for last Saturday when the track was forced to
cancel due to severe rain.
Lady Stonewall, a Harlan’s Holiday filly trained by Lynn Whiting,
only has two starts under her belt, but has done little wrong. She
finished second in her October debut at Keeneland to Cor Cor, who went
on to become a stakes winner, and then won her very next start. She will
be ridden by jockey Robby Albarado, who has already won eight races
over just three days of races to lead the standings. The leading rider
in 1996 and ’97, Albarado is riding full time at Oaklawn for the first
time since ’97.
The favorite will have her work cut out for her with seven other
talented fillies in the field, including the already proven stakes
winner American Sugar. Last year, Poindexter Thoroughbred’s Harlan
Holiday filly won the Prairie Gold Lassie at Prairie Meadows and the
E.L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes at Remington Park. In addition, she
finished third to colts in the Prairie Meadows Juvenile. The Lynn
Chleborad trainee will have the services of jockey Alex Birzer.
Other fillies likely to draw some attention are K.K. and Devi
Jayaraman’s undefeated Baby Princess and Bluegrass Hall’s Neith, who
switches back to the main track after several turf races.
The complete field for the Dixie Belle, in post-position order, with
riders and morning line odds: Baby Princess, Ramon Vazquez, 3-1; No Free
Ride, Rosemary Homeister Jr., 15-1; Lady Stonewall, Robby Albarado,
8-5; My Daughter’s Song, Lindey Wade, 12-1; Sheila Tequila, 12-1, Terry
Thompson; Neigh, Victor Lebron, 8-1; Little Miss Fitz, Ricardo Santana
Jr., 15-1, and American Sugar, Alex Birzer, 3-1.
Cheery Even Money in American Beauty
Claiborne Farm & Adele Dilschneider’s Cheery was
made the heavy even money favorite for Sunday’s $60,000 American Beauty
Stakes against a short, but talented field of six. The 4-year-old
Distorted Humor filly enters the six-furlong race off a close second to
graded stakes winner Salty Strike in the Dream Supreme Stakes at
Churchill Downs Nov. 23. That race, her stakes debut, snapped a
three-race win streak for Cheery, who will be ridden Sunday by Victor
Also entering the American Beauty after running in the Dream Supreme
is Sam’s Bliss, the third-place finisher. The 5-year-old filly then went
on to finish second in an allowance race at Fair Grounds Dec. 19. She
will be ridden by jockey Cliff Berry, who has already teamed up with
trainer Bret Calhoun to win the opening day Fifth Stakes with Donoharm.
Last year, Calhoun won this race with Gleaming.
All About Allie has been the dominate Arkansas-bred stakes winning
female the last two years and now tries her hand at open company. She
most recently finished fifth in an allowance race at Remington Park. Two
races back, she finished second in the Flashy Lady Stakes at Remington.
The complete field for the American Beauty, in post-position order
with riders and morning line odds: Formal Plan, Greta Kuntzweiler, 10-1;
All About Allie, Luis Quinonez, 9-2; Cheery, Victor Lebron, even; Sam’s
Bliss, Cliff Berry, 5-2; Mysterious Chimes, Ramon Vazquez, 4-1, and
Hong Kong Silver, Robby Albarado, 4-1.