All has gone well for Lee Lewis’ 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly Live Lively since her wire-to-wire victory in the $250,000 Davona Dale
Stakes (G2) on Feb. 23 as she continues preparation for her next start
in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), according to trainer Mark
“She’s doing fine and had one breeze since the race (half-mile in 50
seconds at Palm Meadows on Mar. 10),” said Hennig Thursday afternoon
before saddling Lewis’ 3-year-old filly Casual Elegance to finish second
in the first race. “She’ll have two more works before the race. She
might be as good as any filly I’ve had.”
That would be saying a lot for Hennig, who has developed so many
good fillies over the years, notably a series of major stakes-winners
for the late Edward P. Evans, including Summer Colony, Gold Mover,
Colonial Minstrel, Raging Fever. Lewis’ Mystic Lady also ranked among
his best stakes fillies.
Lewis was “there from the beginning” after Hennig went on his own in
1992 after serving for five years as one of Wayne Lukas’ top assistant
trainers. A daughter of Thunder Gulch, Mystic Lady won 10 of 27 career
starts and nearly $1.2 million for Lewis and Hennig early in the last
decade, including the Fantasy Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park.
"His (Lewis’) best colt was Personal Hope. He was a good horse,”
said Hennig. The son of Storm Bird won the 1993 Santa Anita Derby (G1)
before finishing fourth in both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness
(G1) that spring.
Live Lively, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who was purchased for
$160,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sales, was making only her
fourth career start in the Davona Dale. In two starts as a 2-year-old in
New York she finished third in her debut at Belmont Park in late June
and broke her maiden next out at Aqueduct on Nov. 23.
In her lone start this year before the Davona Dale, Live Lively
romped home to win a seven-furlong allowance race here by more than 11
lengths on New Year’s Day. She held a safe margin of 1 ½ lengths over
Todd Pletcher-trained favorite Dreaming of Julia at the finish of the 1
1/16 miles Davona Dale.