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Live Lively Remains on Target for GP Oaks

Live Lively with jockey Joel Rosario all alone at the wire in the Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Hallandale Beach Florida. 02-23-2013

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 Hennig.

“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.

 

 

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