Dreaming Of the Davona Dale

Gulfstream Park will be the toast of the thoroughbred horse racing nation this weekend. On Saturday the track's card is highlighted by three consecutive graded stakes races for sophomore runners. Kicking off the fabulous three is the Davona Dale Stakes (gr.2) for three-year-old fillies where leading Kentucky Oaks contender Dancinginherdreams makes her second start of the year.


A field of nine is entered for the Davona Dale, and four of the nine all made their last start in the Forward Gal Stakes (gr.2) at Gulfstream Park on January 30th. Pomeroy’s Pistol broke her maiden at first asking last year before finishing 5th in the Sorority Stakes and 3rd in an allowance race to finish out 2010. She began 2011 with a solid second place finish behind Final Mesa in the Old Hat Stakes (gr.3), finishing ahead of fellow Davona Dale Stakes entrant Roxy Gap. In the Forward Gal Stakes (gr.2) Pomeroy’s Pistol opened up a two length advantage at the top of the stretch after leading most of the way and held off a late charge by Dancingingherdreams to win by ¾ of a length. She has recorded only one work since the Forward Gal Stakes, going 3 furlongs in 36.50.

Dancinginherdreams will be making only the fourth start of her career in the Davona Dale. After winning the first two starts of her career by more than 10 combined lengths, including a 5 ¼ length romp in the Pocahontas Stakes (gr.2), Dancinginherdreams turned in one of the best sophomore losing efforts of the year in the Forward Gal Stakes. Racing towards the rear of the field in the Forward Gal, Dancinginherdreams raced into the stretch 7 wide and proceeded to gun for Pomeroy’s Pistol on the lead. She closed with incredible power and focus to make up almost 10 lengths on the winner, never feeling the whip to get that close. She enters the Davona Dale off a fabulous 4 furlong bullet work at Palm Meadows Training Center in 47.90, more than 3 seconds faster than her 4 furlong work on January 20th. 


[At #8 is Dancinginherdreams much too low on the 2011 Kentucky Oaks Contenders community rankings on Horse Racing Nation?]

R Heat Lightning was a big disappointment in her 2011 debut, finishing a dull fourth in the Forward Gal Stakes after receiving a perfect stalking trip throughout. Last year R Heat Lightning won the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes before finishing out the year with a second place finish behind Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Awesome Feather in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Dancinginherdreams may have recorded thebullet work for 4 furlongs on February 21st but R Heat Lightning recorded the 2nd fastest 4 furlong work the next day, going the distance in 47.50, even faster than Dancinginherdreams.


Evil Queen finished third in the Forward Gal Stakes after winning two consecutive races to finish out her 2010 campaign. She finished ahead of R Heat Lightning in the Forward Gal and even though R Heat Lightning was obviously not performing at the same level she did in her last three starts of 2010 she is still a top class filly and a worthy competitor. Evil Queen proved she can run well in graded stakes company but unless she improves by leaps and bounds she will not be winning on Saturday.
Roxy Gap started the year in the Old Hat Stakes (gr.3) after going undefeated in three starts in 2010. After trailing the field in second to last position for most of the race in the Old Hat, Roxy Gap swung wide into the stretch and set her sights on Final Mesa and Pomeroy’s Pistol, closing well to finish about five lengths behind Pomeroy’s Pistol for third. Her three works since the Old Hat have been decent but far from excellent.
Bellaridge last finished 5th in the Sweetest Chant Stakes, far behind a victorious Kathmanblu after defeating Hailey d’Oro in an allowance race at Churchill Downs in late November. She turned in a nice 5 furlong work on February 18th at Gulfstream Park, finishing in 1:01.00.
Oh Carole is undefeated in two starts, the last coming in a 2 ½ length allowance victory at Gulfstream on January 30th. Her works have been very average and she takes a huge step up in class in the Davona Dale. She will have to move up significantly to make an impact in the top three spots Saturday.

Mending Hearts and Hot Summer complete the field. Mending Hearts has raced three times, never finishing worse than third but taking all three tries to finally break her maiden. Hot Summer has won two consecutive races coming into the Davona Dale, a maiden and an allowance race.
This year’s Kentucky Oaks comes down to just two fillies for me at the moment; Kathmanblu and Dancinginherdreams. Dancinginherdreams should easily win the Davona Dale on Saturday. Her works have been superb, her trainer John T. Ward is brimming with confidence and she will only improve off her huge run in the Forward Gal Stakes. She looks like the complete package from where I am sitting, this filly has the potential to go all the way this year. The two toughest competitors to Dancinginherdreams should come from a much improved R Heat Lightning and Pomeroy’s Pistol. As long shots go Roxy Gap stands out above the rest as well as Evil Queen, both fillies have proven their Stakes worthiness.


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Older Comments about Dreaming Of the Davona Dale...

Dacinginherdreams had her run completely negated by being so close up. She just barely managed to get up for second but I think she would have been a whole lot closer if she had closed from far back. Lets hope she stretches out next time. If nothing else she sure got a lot of conditioning out of the Davona Dale. R Heat Lightning ran huge!
I'm with you blooy. Let's cash on her next time!
but thats okay, i will gladly take the high odds on a good horse. she isn't the best but still a good young horse.
that she will my point is i haven't lost my faith in her yet. i see much doubt from others now, from this bad race.
I think the connections were trying to win the race and not run for a minor award. Closers do not win often at Gulfstream and Dancinginherdreams got much more out of the race attending the pace. Remember that the goal is two turns and the Kentucky Oaks. She might even go off at decent odds in her next start.
yeah they do, but she did much better in the forward gal running off the pace than stalking. when she stalked with r heat lighting she was done on the turn. i like it better when she closes she at least shows more effort, than dying as a stalker.
Actually, late runners struggle in 8f races at Gulfstream Park (15% wins in 82 races). Late running sprinters are usually not successful routing but Dancinginherdreams is more of a mid-range stalker. I believe people were bashing Leparoux because she was too far back in the Forward Gal. Now he is being criticized for having her too close to the pace. I think she will benefit from showing positional speed in her two long sprints at Gulfstream and should be ready to route now. She is still young and learning how to run so don't be too down on her.
i don't think dreams would have had horse, there was a reason r heat was long gone, dreams was burnt out trying to keep with they early pace where she didn't belong. r heat can handle the stalk method that's her stylem but deep closers shouldn't be up in 4th. dremas wouldn't have to be way back away from the group but just run last a little back where she likes. i don't know i just don't like it when they mess with a horses running style. i am sure z fans wouldn't be to happy if smith took her 4th through her races when she likes to close deep consuming tired horse on the strech. just a prime expample of a good closer.
Late running types had done well on the one turn mile, that's why I was mad Dancinginherdreams was so close. Would she have won if she sat back near last? I doubt it, but they shouldn't have messed with her running style. She at least wouldn't have lost by 7 1/2 lengths if she'd rated more.
yeah she still would have got second, but it wouldn't have been such a struggle if they layed back a bit, now next race she might just get third or not even be in the money. can't stand it when they mess with the running style.
There really was not much Leparoux could have done with Dancinginherdreams. She drew the outside post going a mile and early-pressing types won all 6 dirt races carded at GP on Feb 26. He could have dropped back and made a run but R Heat Lightning would've been long gone anyway. The runner-up might want more ground and could move forward around two turns.
well r heat lighting bounced back and they messed up dancinginherdreams ride.
Going for another pitcher now.......:(
I'm going to "kelzenberg dream girl". Then I'm going to sit back with a pitcher of margaritas and try to slow down palpitations. This should be a great race.....as long as the dream brings it home. I'm having a feeling about MH so I think I'll do a 3 with dream, heart and heat:)only 8 hours til post......p.s. yes...she is very very gorgeous
she is very gorgeous. i think she just ran out of room last time that grey beauty was rolling! this race looks pretty speedy, pomeroy's pistol still looks tough, but maybe oh carole can help bring her down. should be a nice set up for dancinginherdreams. oh and r heat lighting looks to be ready to, this sould be a great race!
Oh Carole looks like a pretty serious contender in there.
  • KyOaksRunner · Yes, especially after seeing Funny Sunny who she defeated handily last out win that Gulfstream Allowance by 10 3/4 lengths. I don't think she's ready to beat the likes of Dancinginherdreams or R Heat Lighting just yet though. · 2457 days ago
Funny Sunny, second behind Oh Carole in an allowance at Gulfstream last month, just won at Gulfstream today by more than 10 lengths. Could be that Oh Carole is a little better than I originally had thought, maybe not good enought to win but at least get up for a placing.
I expect the beautiful grey filly to roll tomorrow at short odds ... she sure is gorgeous, isn't she?
I agree, R Heat Lightning should be back to her old self in the Davona Dale and much tougher to beat. I'm not sure why Pomeroy's Pistol has only recorded one work at 3 furlongs heading into the race but it makes me question wheter or not she will be as fit as Dancinginherdreams and R Heat Lightning. I'm hoping for a Dancinginherdreams "explosion"!
Pomeroy's Pistol was a huge surprise to me in the Forward Gal.....she had her swverve on. I think R Heat Lighning had a throw away race, she was too good in the Breeders Cup to not consider Iin the Davona Dale. I think this will shape up into a huge battle to the finish line and I will be parked in my chair savoring every moment. Go Girls!

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