Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Beverly D. (G1)
Contact: Brian W. Spencer
EURO CHARLINE THE STAR OF THE SHOW IN BEVERLY D.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 12, 2015) – While the Arlington Million may be the main event on Saturday afternoon at Arlington International Racecourse, another big attraction on the card is one race prior in the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. in the form of a feisty filly named Euro Charline. Trained by Marco Botti in Newmarket, England, Euro Charline has once again shipped to Arlington for Team Valor International with an eye on history. In 2014, the bay filly became the first sophomore filly to prove victorious in the Beverly D. when she made a flashy move at the top of the stretch and outsprinted Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten to the line by three-quarters of a length. This year, the daughter of Myboycharlie will attempt to become the first back-to-back winner of the prestigious filly and mare turf event when she breaks from post eight under new rider Jose Lezcano at morning-line 5-2 favoritism in a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race that provides the winner an automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Stephanie’s Kitten returns in 2015 in what will be her swan song over the course upon which she broke her maiden in 2011 before going on to win the Grade II $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. A three-time Grade I winner, she was second in last year’s Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita – another tough loss in a career that has been riddled with as much bad luck as it has brilliant performances, including a late-closing fifth from 17 lengths back last out in the Grade I $500,000 Diana Stakes at Saratoga. Irad Ortiz, Jr. gets the return call for trainer Chad Brown from post three at morning-line odds of 7-2 on arguably the most accomplished turf filly or mare in America.
Finishing three-quarters of a length astern Stephanie’s Kitten in the aforementioned Filly & Mare Turf was Qatar Racing Limited and Newsells Park Stud’s classy mare Secret Gesture, who was fifth in a blanket finish to end her 4-year-old season. The Ralph Beckett trainee returned on May 14 at York to win the Group II $173,000 Middleton Stakes in fantastic fashion, making all and winning with run to spare. A game fourth last out in the Group I $279,000 Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh makes her a major player in this field. Jamie Spencer, third in last year’s Beverly D. on Qatar Racing’s Just the Judge, gets the call from post 10 on the three-time Group I-placed daughter of the great Galileo whose morning line is set at 9-2.
The famed Ballydoyle yard of Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien sends improving sophomore filly Wedding Vow for owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier. Though only a one-time winner, said triumph came in Group II company two races back in the $125,000 Kilboy Estate Stakes at The Curragh – the same race Dank used en route to Beverly D. success in 2013. A sharp second last out in the Group I $937,000 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood substantiated that form and makes the bay daughter of Galileo a major player when she breaks from post nine under Colm O’Donoghue at morning-line odds of 4-1.
Two improving grade/group winning Americans who have yet to prove victorious at the top level, but are major players here are August Stable’s Michael Matz-trained Mango Diva and Michael Kisber, Nelson McMakin and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ Chad Brown-trained Watsdachances. Mango Diva was an excellent second last out in the Beverly D.’s course and distance prep, the Grade III $100,000 Modesty Handicap, over ground slightly softer than she would prefer. Watsdachances, on the other hand, was a hard-charging second in the Grade II $200,000 Dance Smartly at Woodbine, in which she was given too much to do in the stretch and just missed by a head at the wire. Florent Geroux rides Mango Diva from post five at morning-line odds of 15-1, while Joe Bravo takes the reins on Watsdachances from post two at 10-1.
Germany’s Lacy and Ireland’s Carla Bianca enter the Beverly D. as 4-year-old fillies who do their best at or around the race’s 1 3/16-miles distance. Both being group race winners, they have yet to prove themselves as Grade/Group I-level fillies, but a move forward by either puts them dangerously close to doing so. While Lacy was Group I-placed last year, she must overcome a poor showing last out in the Group III $87,000 Prix Allez France at Chantilly for trainer Waldemar Hickst and owner Gestut Fahrhof. She breaks from the rail under Eduardo Pedroza at morning-line odds of 20-1. Moyglare Stud’s Dermot Weld-trained Carla Bianca exits a victory against the boys at Leopardstown in the Group III $66,000 Meld Stakes and is one who should excel over the faster ground she should receive on Saturday. Pat Smullen rides from post six at morning-line odds of 8-1.
The remainder of the Beverly D. field is comprised of slightly outclassed but dangerously speedy turf females Maid on a Mission and Lots o’ Lex – both at 30-1 on the morning line. The former, owned by Loooch Racing Stable and trained by Peter Walder, breaks from post seven under Kent Desormeaux. Lisa Lex’s Lots o’ Lex breaks from post four under local rider Rosemary Homeister, Jr.
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