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Promising Boerne Set for Stakes Debut in Saturday’s Game Face

Jun 4, 2020
Kentucky Oaks Long-Range Goal for King Guillermo’s Stablemate

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Juan Carlos Avila already has big plans for the first weekend in September, when the veteran trainer is expecting to saddle King Guillermo for a start in the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby (G1).

Avila is hoping, however, that King Guillermo won’t be alone on the van to Churchill Downs. Victor Martinez’s Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner and Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up could well end up having company on the trip to Louisville if Boerne continues to dominate her opposition as she has done in three straight open-lengths triumphs at Gulfstream Park.

De Luca and Sons Stable’s Boerne will take the first step on a path that Avila hopes will lead to a start in the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks (G1) when she makes her stakes debut in Saturday’s $75,000 Game Face, a 6 ½ furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, at Gulfstream Park.

Boerne has won her three most recent starts by a combined 15 lengths after showing the way at every call. After finishing a troubled fourth in her Nov. 6 debut at Gulfstream Park West, the daughter of Fed Biz graduated with a front-running 3 ½-length victory at Gulfstream March 15. She came right back to score by 7 ¼ lengths April 11 and 4 ¼ lengths May 3.

“I always thought that she was a very good filly and each day she is getting better and better,” said Avila with Martinez, the five-time MLB All Star, serving as interpreter.

Boerne has yet to run beyond 6 ½ furlongs, but the Texas-bred filly’s trainer is confident in her ability to stretch out.

“After this race, she will go up to a mile,” Avila said. “I believe in her and don’t think she’ll have any problem with two turns. It’s possible she will run in a stake to get points to run in the Oaks.”

Edgard Zayas, who has been aboard for all four of Boerne’s starts, has the return call.

Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider ‘s Vast will try to turn the tables on Boerne Saturday after finishing second behind the Avila trainee last time out. Trained by Bill Mott, Vast trailed a six-horse field early after a slow start before rallying to finish 4 ½ lengths behind Boerne in her 2020 debut. The daughter of Lea won twice in four starts during her 2-year-old season, which included a triumph in the six-furlong Hollywood Wildcat at Monmouth Park.

Regular rider Joe Bravo has been awarded the return mount.

Miracle’s International Trading Inc.’s Dream Marie, who finished second behind Kentucky Oaks hopeful Tonalist’s Shape in the 1 1/16-mile Hollywood Wildcat at Gulfstream May 15, backs up in distance for the Game Face. The Matthew Williams-trained daughter of Graydar had finished third behind Tonalist’s Shape in the Feb. 29 Davona Dale (G1) at a one-turn mile before finishing off the board in the March 28 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).

Rajiv Maragh has the return call.

Black Type Thoroughbreds and R.A. Hill Stables’ Up in Smoke will look to rebound from a fourth-place finish in her two-turn debut in the Hollywood Wildcat in the one-turn Game Face. The George Weaver-trained daughter of The Big Beast had previously won the first three starts of her career at six-furlongs by a combined 11 ¾ lengths.

Emisael Jaramillo is scheduled to ride Up in Smoke for the first time Saturday.

George Vires’ We Miss Susie, St. Elias Stable’s Hopeful Growth, CJ Thoroughbreds LLC’s Compensate, Hoolie Racing Stable LLC’s Malibeauty and Briannjenn Racing LLC’s Addilyn round out the field.

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