Daveron & Louvakhova Clash in Wide-Open Marshua's River

Daveron & Louvakhova Clash in Wide-Open Marshua's River


By Jack Will

HALLANDALE BEACH - Live Oak Plantation’s 7-year-old German-bred mare Daveron won three straight turf stakes last year for trainer Graham Motion and Michel Jean Zerolo’s 4-year-old filly Louvakhova was impressive capturing the Frances A. Genter Stakes on Oct. 15 at Calder in her American debut for trainer Marty Wolfson.

The two will meet as the likely choices in a full field of 14 fillies and mares drawn for Saturday’s $100,000 Marshua’s River Stakes (G3) going 1 1/16 miles on turf at Gulfstream Park

            Jockey Rajiv Maragh is named to ride Daveron as she makes her first start since finishing a game third as the favorite in the First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last out on Oct. 8. The chestnut daughter of Black Sam Bellamy had won all three of her previous starts in 2011, including the Beaugay Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park in the spring and Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) at Saratoga in late August.

            Daveron raced for Motion client Team Valor International through the First Lady before being sold to Live Oak Plantation at the Keeneland November sales for $750,000.

“She’s seven years old and a decision will be made whether to breed her in the spring, but she can still race a time or two even if that is the case,” said Motion.

            A Kentucky-bred daughter of Maria’s Mon, Louvakhova was very impressive winning the Frances A. Genter on turf at Calder by 4 ¼ lengths in her first start in the U.S. and first for Wolfson after posting one win and five seconds in as many starts in France to begin her career. Jockey Luis Saez gets a return call.

             Wolfson has held high hopes for Louvaknova “since she got off the plane,” in early October, but since the good start to her American career in the Calder race her connections have had to wait longer than planned for her to take the next step. She gets in Saturday drawing post position 9 and breezed an easy half-mile in 51 4/5 at Calder Wednesday morning.

“I had her with the horses I sent to Kentucky in the fall and entered in a race at Churchill Downs (Mrs. Revere Stakes), but she drew the far outside and I scratched,” said the horseman known for his patience. “Then she was entered twice here. She was in the South Beach (Dec. 11) and ended up on the ‘also-eligible’ list and then shortly after that in an allowance and didn’t get in (Dec. 17).”

            Wolfson has another contender in the race with Farnsworth Stable’s 6-year-old Speak Easy Gal, winner of the Orchid Stakes (G3) over the course in 2010 going 12 furlongs. Jockey Elvis Trujillo will aboard the daughter of West Acre after she made her last two starts in allowance races on Polytrack at Keeneland, winning on Oct. 9 but tiring to seventh after setting the pace on Oct. 26.

            Trainers Dale Romans and Michael Matz also each have two runners entered in the Marshua’s River. Romans sends out Frank Jones, Jr.’s Tapitsfly with leading rider Javier Castellano named to ride and James Lauffer and Poplar Hill Equine’s Persuading and Jesus Castanon aboard.

            A daughter of Tapit, Tapitsfly is best-known for winning the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita, but missed the entire 2010 season. She ran some good races from nine starts in 2011, but shows only one win in an allowance on turf here early last April. Runner-up to Daveron in the Ballston Spa, Tapitsfly finished fifth last out in the Cardinal Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

            Matz will be represented by Teneri Farms’ Thundering Emilia with Edgar Prado named to ride and Ramona Bass’ Aquitaine and Luis Contreras aboard, although both are likely to be longshots in this deep and talented field.  

            Always a threat in the middle distance turf stakes in South Florida is Peter Fuller’s 5-year-old Florida homebred Trip for A.J. with the owner-breeder’s daughter Abigail Fuller named to ride for trainer Milt Wolfson. The chestnut daughter of Trippi won the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf here early last year and finished a game third last out in the South Beach Stakes on Dec. 11.

            Completing the field for the Marshua’s River are Vicki and William Poston’s Jenny’s So Great, Paco Lopez; Summerplace Farm’s Heavenly Landing, Corey Lanerie; Paul Pompa, Jr. and Hidden Brook Farm’s La Reine Lionne, John Velzquez; Alex Campbell, Jr.’s It’s Tea time, Manoel Cruz; Robert Masterson’s Exclusive Love, Alex Solis; and Prakash Patel’s Kiss the Stars, Joe Bravo.

            Arindel Farm’s Lava Girl was entered to run ‘main track only’ by trainer Todd Pletcher and is on the ‘also-eligible’ list with Fittocks Stud’s Wallis, trained by Christophe Clement