Stacelita rode the yielding turf
rail to win the $750,000 Grade I Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park, giving
owner Martin Schwartz his record third win in the race.
The Beverly D. provides the winner
an automatic starting position in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare
Turf as part of the “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
“I had an absolutely wonderful
trip,” said champion American jockey Ramon Dominguez, tallying his first win in
Sent postward as the 9-5 favorite,
Stacelita settled on the rail and stalked California shipper Dubawi Heights and
locally based Never Retreat.
“I was able to sit right off the
leaders, very nice and relaxed,” Dominguez continued.
Turning for home, Dominguez seized a
rail opening and proceeded to the lead, lengthening through the lane to win by
1 ¼ lengths.
“Once I found a seam,” he said, “I
had to go for it and she reached for it.”
It was a sweet victory for owner
Martin Schwartz, who glowed from the winner’s circle after the race. “I
love Chicago,” said Schwartz. “That’s three.”
“Angara won in 2005 and Gorella won
in 2006,” the ebullient owner said. “Stacelita has been a magnificent animal
since I first saw her.”
The win was the first for Stacelita
since the Group I Prix Jean Romanet at France’s Deauville Racecourse in August
2010. A 5-year-old mare, Stacelita was imported to America in late June
and ran a close third against male rivals in the Grade I United Nations Stakes
at Monmouth Park.
Chad Brown earned his first training
win in the Beverly D. with his only starter, taking over the duties from
Jean-Claude Rouget after Stacelita’s last race.
The final time for the one mile and
three-sixteenths was 1:57.57 on the yielding turf, which produced slow
fractions after a massive storm came through earlier in the day.
Stacelita earned $427,500 for the
win, increasing her bankroll to $2,081,241 and her overall record to nine wins
from 16 starts.
California shipper Dubawi Heights
cut out the running and set relatively slow fractions on the front end under
Joel Rosario, holding on for second by a head over the Mike de Kock-trained
As the favorite, Stacelita returned
$5.60, $3.80 and $2.80. Dubawi Heights paid $6.80 and $5.20. River
Jetez paid $3.60.
Fantasia ran on from well back to
finish fourth beaten almost four lengths, with longshot Upperline another
half-length back. Éclair De Lune, winner of the 2010 Beverly D. Stakes,
was sixth. They were followed home by Never Retreat, Pachattack, Cheetah,
Check the Label and Romin Robin.