Live Lively and Dreaming of Julia Set for Rematch in Gulfstream Oaks
Lee Lewis’s Live Lively arrived at Palm Meadows for the winter following a three-quarters of a length maiden win at Aqueduct. Stonestreet Stable’s Dreaming of Julia arrived at the same time after finishing third in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita.
After meeting once previously in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) this winter at Gulfstream with Live Lively going gate-to-wire to beat Dreaming of Julia by 1 1/2 lengths, the two will face each other again Saturday as the favorites in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). The 1 1/8 mile test will certainly produce one of the favorites for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Dreaming of Julia is the 2-1 favorite in the Oaks with Live Lively and Emollient at 3-1 and Cue he Moon at 4-1.
Jockey Rajiv Maragh picks up the mount on Live Lively Saturday as her regular rider Joel Rosario will be in Dubai for the mount on Animal Kingdom in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1).
A daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, Live Lively was a $160,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase for Hennig’s longtime client Lewis, who raced the good colt Personal Hope with Hennig to win the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and finish fourth in the 1993 Kentucky Derby (G1).
“She’s an outstanding-looking individual,” said Hennig recently of Live Lively, who won a seven-furlong allowance race here by 11 ¼ lengths on New Year’s Day before the Davona Dale. “Talent-wise, I feel like there’s still a lot to see. She’s done everything we’ve asked of her, and I’ve asked a lot of her.
“I ran her 5 ½ (furlongs) at Aqueduct (debut), and she wasn’t quite fit to do that. Then she was off five months and broke her maiden. Then she went from running seven-eighths (Jan. 1) seven weeks later to running two turns in a Graded stake (Davona Dale), which is a lot to ask, because she didn’t really get a lot of experience out of that first race at Gulfstream. She was never around any other horses.”
Jockey John Velazquez gets a return call on Dreaming of Julia. The Kentucky homebred daughter of A.P. Indy won her first three starts in New York last year, including the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park before her good try behind Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup.
The intriguing prospect in the field for the Gulfstream Oaks will be Spendthrift Farm’s Cue the Moon with jockey Rosie Napravnik picking up the mount for trainer Jim Bond as she makes her first start since a neck decision behind My Happy Face in the one-mile Tempted Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct on Nov. 4. It was only the second start of her career following a debut score at Saratoga on Sept. 2.
“She’s a really big filly and just needed some time to grow up the rest of the way,” said Bond. “I’ve got a pretty good campaign going for her this year so I wanted to put her away and give her a little rest and come out on Saturday. She’s been training wonderfully; she’s a real McCoy.
“As long as she’s in front at the end it doesn’t make a big difference, she’s very versatile. Her first race she was in all kinds of trouble, and she’s just one of those that finds a way. The good ones always find a way. I think the extra distance will help her. She’s a big long-striding filly.”
Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes also races 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and Eclipse champion Beholder with Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella in California.
Also certain to attract her share of support will be Juddmonte Farm’s Emollient with jockey Jose Lezcano in the saddle for trainer Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who will be in Dubai that afternoon to run Royal Delta in the Dubai World Cup. A Kentucky homebred daughter of Empire Maker, Emollient was a sharp allowance winner at 1 1/16 miles on a ‘sloppy’ track here on Feb. 16.
Emollient made three starts last year in New York, finishing second as a longshot in her debut at Saratoga in early August, breaking her maiden next out at Belmont Park in late September and finishing a solid second in the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on Nov. 24, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Unlimited Budget.
Completing the field for the Gulfstream Oaks are Catalyst Stable and partners’ Kimberly Jean with Corey Lanerie aboard for trainer Ken McPeek and Chiefswood Stable’s Original Script to be ridden by Elvis Trujillo for trainer Paul Attard.
Kimberly Jean is a daughter of More Than ready that ran well to finish second behind highly-regarded Bill Mott-trained filly Close Hatches in a March 10 allowance at 1 1/16 miles. Original Script is a Canadian homebred by Malibu Moon and makes her first start since finishing second in the Ontario Colleen Stakes at Woodbine on Dec. 9.