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Stacelita Brings Strongs Credentials to Flower Bowl

Stacelita (no. 1), ridden by Ramon Dominguez and trained by Chad Brown, wins the 22nd running of the grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes for fillies and mares three years old and upward on August 13, 2011 at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
Stacelita, a five-time Grade 1/Group 1 winner, looks to continue her stateside success in Saturday’s 1 ¼-mile Flower Bowl Invitational.

In France, Stacelita won four Group 1 races, including the 2009 Prix de Diane (French Oaks). She made one start in her native country this year, finishing third in the Group 3 La Coupe in June, before she was sent to the U.S.


After reporting home third against males in her stateside debut, the Grade 1 United Nations in July at Monmouth Park, the daughter of Monsun was transferred to New York-based trainer Chad Brown, for whom she won the Grade 1 Beverly D. by 1 ¼ lengths on August 13 at Arlington Park.


Brown said owner Martin Schwartz brought Stacelita to the U.S. eyeing three races: the Beverly D., the Flower Bowl, and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.


“We’ll take it one race at a time, but when Mr. Schwartz hired me he had three specific races in mind,” said Brown. “We won the first one, so we have two more to go.”


Stacelita will leave from post 8 with Ramon Dominguez in the irons.


Aruna is another Flower Bowl entrant who came to the United States after racing in France. Since her arrival, she has never finished outside the exacta in six starts and enters Saturday’s race off a win in Colonial Downs’ Grade 3 All Along on June 18 and a second in the Grade 1 Diana on July 30 at Saratoga.


Trainer Graham Motion said the Flower Bowl has been a long-range objective for Aruna. The Flower Bowl will be her second start at 1 ¼ miles, having finished sixth in the 2010 Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, her final start in France.


“This was always our plan, as long as the rest of the year went well,” said Motion, who trains the filly for Flaxman Stable. “This is a test for her. This is her Breeders’ Cup test and will show whether she can get 1 ¼ miles. I feel like [the distance] is something you won’t find out about until you try it. I hope the grass doesn’t come up too soft because then she’ll be facing two new intangibles.”


Aruna, the 5-1 third choice on the morning line, drew post 4. Hall of Famer Edgar Prado will ride.


Emerald Beech will put a five-race winning streak at risk in the Flower Bowl, which will be her first start in a Grade 1. The Augustin Stable homebred comes into Saturday’s contest off two victories at Saratoga – a neck score in the Signature Stallion Waya on August 10 and a 1 ½-length success in the Grade 3 Glens Falls on September 5.


“We realize we’re taking a big step up,” said Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard. “It’s actually more or like two or three steps up, but she’s won five straight, so if you’re ever going to do it this would be the time.”


Emerald Beech will be cutting back in distance on Saturday, having raced 1 ½ miles in the Signature Stallion Waya and 1 3/8 miles in the Glens Falls.


“[Belmont is] a stayers’ type of track, with the big sweeping turns,” said Sheppard. “I imagine it will be more kind to her than the inner turf course at Saratoga, for instance.”


Alex Solis has the call aboard Emerald Beech, 6-1 on the morning line, from post 3.


The Flower Bowl will be the second start in the U.S. for Deluxe, a half-sister to Group 2 winner and influential stallion Dansili and Grade/Group 1 winners Banks Hill, Heat Haze, Intercontinental, Champs Elysees, and Cacique.


Juddmonte Farms’ Deluxe, who in France won a listed stakes at 1 5/16 miles and was Group 1-placed going 1 ¼ miles, finished a fast-closing second in her stateside debut, the one-mile, restricted Paris Opera on September at Saratoga.


“I think the added distance is going to help her,” said Leana Willaford, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “She looks fabulous and has been training well since she has come down to Belmont. There’s no reason not to try. She has been training forwardly, so we couldn’t ask for anything better. She has five siblings that are Grade 1 winners. She’s out of a fantastic family, so it’s our job to get it done.”


Deluxe, the 3-1 morning-line second choice, will leave from the rail with John Velazquez aboard.


The Flower Bowl field also includes Dynaslew and Senada, the second- and third-place finishers in the Glens Falls; Gitchee Goomie, who was rerouted to the Flower Bowl after Sunday’s John Hettinger for New York-breds was taken off the turf; and Distorted Legacy, fifth in the Grade 1 Ruffian Invitational Handicap on the dirt.

The field for the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational:








Deluxe (KY)

J R Velazquez


W I Mott



Dynaslew (FL)

C S Nakatani


S Benzel



Emerald Beech (PA)

A O Solis


J E Sheppard



Aruna (KY)

E S Prado


H G Motion



Gitchee Goomie (NY)

A Garcia


R A Violette, Jr.



Distorted Legacy (KY)

R Maragh


A J Penna, Jr.



Senada (KY)

C H Velasquez


B Tagg



Stacelita (FR)

R A Dominguez


C C Brown





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Older Comments about Stacelita Brings Strongs Credentials to Flower Bowl ...

Stacelita is absolutely a class race-mare on the turf!! In all honesty, she's been racing and beating tougher fillies and mares on the turf in France than what she's had to face thus far in America. I absolutely believe Stacelita will win the G1 Flower Bowl Stakes at Belmont this weekend, and will then very likely become favorite, or at the very least, co-favorite, for this year's BC F&M Turf!! I believe Dubawi Height's will win the G1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes and I also believe Cape Blanco will win the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Securing his third American G1 turf stakes in as many tries, and I think a win in the Joe Hirsch will likely make him favorite for this year's BC Turf!! TJMO.

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