HALLANDALE BEACH, FL — Curtis Mikkelsen’s Cajun Delta Dawn ($8.60) rose to the occasion once more with a surging score in the $200,000 Desert Vixen Division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park. After setting the pace in her June 10 debut for trainer David Fawkes, the 2-year-old filly closed strongly up the rail to post a 17-1 upset in the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes on July 2. Those efforts earned Cajun Delta Dawn more consideration from the wagering public this time and she went postward as the 3-1 second choice.
Drawn in post two, Cajun Delta Dawn broke well and was tucked in to save ground in third by jockey Juan Leyva as Lu Lu Laura ripped through a :21.62 opening quarter. Evvamene sat in second while stablemate Perfect Kay stalked alongside Cajun Delta Dawn. While Fawkes was worried that Cajun Delta Dawn was spinning her wheels at that point, the juvenile was about to allay those fears.
Lu Lu Laura dismissed her early challengers and looked home free in midstretch, but Cajun Delta Dawn was just beginning her rally. The daughter of Kantharos switched outside of the game pacesetter nearing the finish and hit the wire a neck in front. She was timed in 1:11.94 for the six-furlong Desert Vixen.
“This filly is awesome,” Leyva said. “I love to ride a filly like this. She show so much heart every time. She’s just a dream to ride. I rode a couple of her siblings (Cajun Breeze, Cajun Sunrise) and they’re all the same way. That’s why I pursued this mount, because I won a lot of races on them. I said, ‘I’ve got to ride this one too.’”
It was the second stakes win on the day for Fawkes following Daring Kathy’s success in the Soaring Softly earlier on card.
“She was closing and they were flying,” he remarked. “It was very similar to last time. Juan did a great job, ducked in and saved ground on the rail. Juan said she lost her way a little bit on the turn, that he had to really get busy on her to keep her running. She’s a little green still, maybe. But I’ll take a green horse any day that can win three in a row.”
Fawkes is hopeful that Cajun Delta Dawn can continue her streak when she stretches out to seven furlongs in the $300,000 Susan’s Girl Division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park on September 3.
“It’s four or five weeks to the next one so that’s perfect,” he said. “She’s getting smarter. In the morning when she trains she’s been getting more aggressive, but never stupid. She just goes out there, does her job, comes home. Very easy to deal with.”
Cajun Delta Dawn has now earned $201,105 for Mikkelsen, who also co-bred Blessed Halo, the 60-1 shot who finished second to Three Rules in the $200,000 Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Sire Stakes.
“And now for this filly to be three for three, this is the most exciting thing ever,” Mikkelsen said. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years, since 1990, but I sell everything. This mare (Cajun Dawn) has been like gold, and finally she’s 15, and I said, ‘I love this filly,’ and I decided to keep her for my broodmare band. I’m choked up about this. She’s done everything. I’ve probably bred 25 or 30 stakes winners, I’ve never owned one (except Cajun Delta Dawn.”
Cajun Delta Dawn’s older siblings include Cajun Breeze, who earned $246,860; and Cajun Sunrise, a four-time winner who bankrolled $121,363.
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