- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Forward Gal attracts Dancinginherdreams, R Heat Lightning
With champion Awesome Feather (Awesome of Course) sidelined by a tendon issue, DANCINGINHERDREAMS (Tapit) and R HEAT LIGHTNING (Trippi) are the leading three-year-old fillies in training in South Florida, and the two runners will open 2011 against each other in Sunday's $200,000 Forward Gal S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park. A total of seven fillies are entered in the seven-furlong test.
Dancinginherdreams couldn't have been more impressive in her two previous starts, winning both races from off the pace by widening margins. She swept past maiden special weight rivals with a breathtaking move in her career bow, scoring by five lengths in a six-furlong event over Keeneland's Polytrack, and displayed the same acumen when switching to dirt in the one-mile Pocahontas S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, rallying with ease to a 5 1/4-length decision. The John Ward-trained gray shows a couple of bullet workouts this month at Palm Meadows, and Julien Leparoux will return to the saddle aboard the late runner.
R Heat Lightning rallied last to first in the Spinaway S. (G1), posting a four-length victory, and finished a troubled second in the Frizette S. (G1) next time out. The Todd Pletcher runner displayed new tactics when concluding her two-year-old campaign with a very encouraging performance in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), setting most of the pace before weakening to second in deep stretch, and it will be interesting to see how much speed she shows Sunday. She appears to be training forwardly in preparation, drilling a five-furlong bullet workout in 1:00 4/5 last weekend at Palm Meadows, and John Velazquez will guide the bay lass.
DEVILISH LADY (Sweetsouthernsaint) will bring commendable form into Sunday's class check, recording four consecutive wins for trainer Antonio Sano. Claimed for $16,000 last September, the dark bay lass dropped her first start for her new connections before taking her game to a new level, winning a pair of races at Calder by a combined 12 3/4 lengths before storming into Tampa Bay Downs with a pair of impressive victories, capturing the December 26 Sandpiper S. by eight lengths and the January 15 Gasparilla S. by 6 3/4 lengths. Regular rider Daniel Centeno has the mount.
ALEXANDRA RYLEE (Afleet Alex) will step up following a nice showing in her stakes debut, a 4 1/2-length score in the December 21 Brandywine S. at Parx Racing, and POMEROYS PISTOL (Pomeroy) is the only member of the field with a start over the local track, finishing second in the January 5 Old Hat S. (G3). Last-out allowance winner EVIL QUEEN (Hear No Evil) and Hawthorne stakes winner THIRD CHANCE (Kafwain) round out the line-up.