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Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will play host to the Grade 2 Very One Stakes on Saturday, February 21. Fillies and mare four years old and upward will be featured when they go 1 3/8 miles on Gulfstream's turf track for a purse of $150,000.
A field of eight older females have been confirmed for The Very One Stakes - race 5 on Gulfstream's packed Saturday card. Post time is 2:30 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all eight entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
Irish Mission - Canada's top 3-year-old filly in 2012 has come on of late - a win in the Grade 3 Glens Falls Stakes at Saratoga August 31 was followed by a good third in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes, a bit of a hiccup - a last of eleven in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and another good win last time out in the Grade 3 La Prevoyante Stakes on this track December 27. Before those results were a second in the Grade 3 Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park in July, a second in the minor Belmont Gold Cup and a respectable third in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes May 24. Irish Mission has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in her last seven starts overall and off a win on this track should be in the mix Saturday. John Velazquez has the mount from post 3.
Riposte - British bred filly will race for the first time since a nice win in June in the Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont Park. She made her North American debut last February and finished a good second in the Grade 3 Suwannee River Stakes on this track and followed that with a respectable third in the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay, a second as 8-5 choice in an Allowance at Keeneland April 11 and a career defining win in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes May 24 in wire-to-wire fashion. Riposte has placed in all five of her North American starts with two consecutive wins ahead of this race, two seconds and a third place finish. Assuming that rust isn't a factor Riposte has to be in the conversation Saturday. Joel Rosario will be in the saddle from gate 6.
Tabreed - British bred Christophe Clement trained mare is coming off a good second behind Irish Mission in the Grade 3 La Prevoyante Stakes on this track December 27 after a fifth in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap November 8 and a pair of thirds - in an Allowance Optional Claiming August 15 and in the minor Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon Stakes September 24. She also finished second in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap in November, 2013. Tabreed has 17 career starts with three wins, four seconds and six third place finishes and looks for her first stakes score with Irad Ortiz in the saddle from post 7.
Always Kitten - Michael Maker trained filly has 21 career starts with three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes - a win and a third place finish in eight starts last year. She is coming off consecutive fourths - the Grade 3 La Prevoyante Stakes last time out here December 27 and in the minor Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon September 24, a seventh in the minor Fasig-Tipton Waya Stakes in August and a decent third in the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park in July. She did win the minor Jersey Lilly Stakes at Sam Houston in March but has placed in just one of her last six starts overall. Javier Castellano will get the call from gate 2.
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Kitten's Point - Graham Motion trained mare won the 2013 Herecomesthebride Stakes here in 2013 and finished second in the Grade 3 Honey Fox Stakes on this track a year ago but went on to a pair of ugly sevenths - the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes in April and the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes in October and an eighth in the minor Kathryn Crosby Stakes two back at Del Mar. Last time out was a reason for optimism however - a win in the minor Astra Stakes at Santa Anita January 18. She has placed in just one of her last four starts but has two wins and two seconds in her last four starts on this track. Off a win she could be a factor Saturday. Flavian Prat rides from gate 5.
Caroline Thomas - 2013 Lake Placid Stakes winner Barclay Tagg trained filly has 19 career starts with four wins, two seconds and five third place finishes. She had eight starts in 2013 - an upset win in the Grade 2 Lake Placid being the highlight. She had seven starts in 2014 - an OK third in the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland April 24, a decent third in the third in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 12 and another third to close out 2014 in the Grade 3 Glen Falls Stakes being the best results. Last time out was an OK second in the minor Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes at Keeneland October 19. Caroline Thomas has placed in three of her last four starts but looks for her first graded stakes score since August 2013 from the rail with Rajiv Maragh in the saddle.
Bitty Kitty - won four straight races in 2014 for trainer Brendan Walsh but has not looked good in her only two stakes starts - seventh place finishes in the Grade 3 Suwannee River Stakes last time out on this track February 7 and the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs in November. She looks to place in stakes company for the first time and to end an ugly two race stretch with Corey Lanerie in the irons from post 4.
Meri Shika - French bred filly made her first start in North America in September, 2013 and finished fourth in the 2013 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine after one win, two seconds and two third place finishes in 11 career starts at home. She didn't place in her next five starts but broke through with a nice win in the minor Flaming Page Stakes August 23. Last time out was a sixth in the Grade 3 Longs Island Handicap at Aqueduct in November which followed a disappointing last of eight in the Grade 1 EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine October 19 and a fourth in the 2014 Grade 2 Canadian Stakes September 14. Meri Shika has placed in just one of her last 10 starts overall (the win four back) and hasn't looked great in her last three graded stakes tries. Jose Lezcano gets the call from gate 8 Saturday.
Race 5 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 2:30 PM.
|1||Caroline Thomas||R. Maragh||B. Tagg|
|2||Always Kitten||J. Castellano||M. Maker|
|3||Irish Mission||J. Velazquez||C. Clement|
|4||Bitty Kitty||C. Lanerie||B. Walsh|
|5||Kitten's Point||F. Prat||H. Motion|
|6||Riposte (GB)||J. Rosario||W. Mott|
|7||Tabreed (GB)||I. Ortiz, Jr.||C. Clement|
|8||Meri Shika (FR)||J. Lezcano||R. Attfield|