Dreaming of Julia Seeks Return to Winning Form in Davona Dale
Stonestreet Stables’ Dreaming of Julia heads a field of five 3-year-old fillies entered Monday for Saturday’s $250,000 Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The Todd Pletcher-trained filly will seek to rebound from her first career loss in a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
Dreaming of Julia, who is slated to break from the No. 3 post position under jockey John Velazquez, won the first two races of her career by a combined 26 ¾ lengths before capturing the Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park. Pletcher has been pleased with her preparation for her 3-year-old debut.
“She’s always been a good work horse, one that enjoys her training on a daily basis. She puts a lot into everything she does,” Pletcher said. “Hopefully, we’ve done enough with her to have her ready off the bench, but she’s given us every indication that she’s ready to go.”
Lee Lewis’ Live Lively, a recent allowance winner at Gulfstream, is set to make her stakes debut in the 28th running of the 1 1/16-mile stakes. After finishing third in her career debut in June, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro graduated in a maiden test at Aqueduct in late November before heading to Gulfstream, where she scored by more than 11 lengths in a seven-furlong allowance race on New Year’s Day.
“It’s a big test for her with the step up in class and first start going a distance,” said trainer Mark Hennig, whose filly will be ridden by Joel Rosario. “She showed she liked the track in the allowance and ran well enough to earn a chance in this race.”
Stephanie and George Autry’s Lady Banks has been shipped from Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland for the Davona Dale. Trained by James “Chuck” Lawrence II, the daughter of Successful Appeal captured her stakes debut last time out in the six-furlong Ruthless at Aqueduct on Jan. 12.
Lady Banks debuted with a close-up second-place finish behind Live Lively at Aqueduct in late November before graduating at Aqueduct on Dec. 14 and winning the Ruthless.
“I think she’ll get the distance because she doesn’t run until you ask her to. I’ve thought from the beginning that she was very classy,” said Lawrence, whose filly will be ridden for the first time by Joe Rocco Jr. “She came out of the Ruthless with a little piece of gravel in a foot from that ‘muddy’ track, but she’s over that everything has gone right since then.”
Siena Farms’ Private Ensign and David Garner’s Twice Told Tale will both be making their stakes debuts in the Davona Dale after capturing a pair of allowance races at Gulfstream Park.
The Dale Romans-trained Private Ensign, who debuted with a second at Churchill Downs before shipping to South Florida, graduated by 3 ½ lengths at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 26 before winning an entry-level allowance at a mile on Jan. 25. Leading rider Javier Castellano has the mount aboard the daughter of A.P. Indy.
Twice Told Tale will be making her first start around two turns in the Davona Dale after coming from off the pace to break her maiden on Dec. 7 and winning an allowance on Jan. 21. Edgar Prado will ride the daughter of Tale of the Cat for the first time Saturday.