Go Lil Lady Looking to Make Dad Proud in Desert Vixen
Cajun Breeze Well Represented in Saturday’s Florida Sire Stakes
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Michael Yates took a leap of faith when he decided to stand Cajun Breeze at stud upon the hard-knocking campaigner’s retirement in 2015 following a steady but hardly remarkable 33-race career.
The son of Congrats, who earned nearly $250,000 without winning a stakes race, has rewarded the Florida Thoroughbred owner, breeder and trainer’s confidence in his stallion potential by producing a FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes winner from his very first crop. Yates’ Cajun Firecracker captured the 2018 Dr. Fager Division of the lucrative series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida.
Cajun Breeze has also sired Stonehedge LLC’s Breeze On By, the winner of two legs of the 2020 Florida Sire Stakes series, and Yates’ Cajun’s Magic, who captured last year’s Dr. Fager before finishing second in the final two legs of the series.
“I really always felt he had the capabilities to be a really good racehorse, that’s why I bred him to my mares,” Yates said. “It has definitely been great to watch this go on and to be a part of it.”
Cajun Breeze moved from Yates’ Shadowbrook Farm after two seasons to Stonehedge Farm after the late Gil Campbell and his wife Marilyn purchased a half-interest.
Yates will seek his first success in the filly division of the FSS series with a daughter of Cajun Breeze in the $100,000 Desert Vixen, a six-furlong dash that will co-headline Saturday’s program at Gulfstream Park with the $100,000 Dr. Fager. Homebred Go Lil Lady enters the Desert Vixen off a sharp debut victory at Gulfstream June 9, when she produced a front-running 7 ¼-length romp in a 4 ½-furlong dash during a sudden rainstorm.
‘She had worked well. It was a weird track. It was a harrowed racetrack and it started to downpour as they were loading into the gate. It was absolutely pouring during the whole race, so it’s hard to tell anything about the race,” said Yates, who is also scheduled to saddle homebred Cajun Hope for a start in the Dr. Fager.
Yates was on course to saddle as many as three fillies for the Desert Vixen until he recently sold homebred Girl Bye and Stonehedge LLC’s Cajun Tease was knocked out of the race when she got sick this week.
Miguel Vasquez has the return mount aboard Go Lil Lady.
Girl Bye is scheduled to clash with her former stablemate after being privately purchased by Smith Ranch Stables and joining Luis Ramirez’s stable. She graduated at first asking April 21 by 6 ½ lengths. She is coming off a third-place finish in the June 9 Astoria at Belmont Park.
Marcos Meneses, who was aboard for her maiden score, returns to the saddle Saturday.
Cajun Breeze will also be represented in the Desert Vixen by Stonehedge LLC’s Val’s Gal. The Ralph Nicks-trained filly graduated at second asking with a front-running 5 ½-furlong score. Leonel Reyes has the call aboard Val’s Gal.
It should be noted that Cajun Breeze’s half sister Cajun Delta Dawn was victorious in the Desert Vixen and the second leg of the series for trainer David Fawkes in 2016.
Fawkes is back for the Desert Vixen with Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Trust Me, who is coming off a sharp three-length score in her second career start. The daughter of The Big Beast came up short in the stretch to finish second behind Lynx in her May 19 debut.
“I didn’t have her as fit as I’d have liked. Honestly, I didn’t think she’d get beat the first time. At the 16th-pole I knew I was in trouble. I said, ‘I’m running out of racetrack and trainer, both,’” Fawkes said. “The filly I got beat by is really nice.”
Sonny Leon, this year’s Kentucky Derby-winning jockey who has relocated to Gulfstream from Ohio this summer, has the call on Trust Me.
“Sonny breezed her the other day and really, really liked her,” said Fawkes, who saddled 2010 Eclipse sprint champion Big Drama for a sweep of the 2008 FSS series.
Trust Me will seek to turn the tables on Arindel’s Lynx, who is scheduled to make her first start since prevailing by 1 ¾ over the Fawkes trainee in her May 19th debut. Lynx’s performance was particularly impressive considering that the homebred daughter of Brethren was steadied a few times during the early going. Edgard Zayas is scheduled to ride the Carlos David-trained filly.
Lea Farms LLC’s Gemma’s Curls enters the Desert Vixen off a five-length romp in a maiden race for $25,000 claimers in her June 26 debut at five furlongs. Luca Panici has been named to ride the Jorge Delgado-trained daughter of Bucchero.
Cal-Ram Racing LLC’s Miss Aria makes her stakes debut Saturday off a six-length debut victory in a $50,000 maiden claiming race July 15. Armando De La Cerda has awarded the mount to Romero Maragh.
Fly With Me and Twin Racings Stables’ Major Pryce, a daughter of Bucchero who was second behind Val’s Gal in her July 8 debut, and Crystal Lanum’s Princess Dakota, a daughter of Big Drama who finished third in a $25,000 maiden claimer in her debut, round out the field
The Florida Sire Stakes series will continue on Sept. 3 with the $200,000 Susan’s Girl for fillies and the $200,000 Affirmed at seven furlongs and on Oct. 1 with the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies and the $400,000 In Reality at 1 1/16 miles.