Following the rescheduling of the Busanda S. from January 23 to this coming Sunday, January 31, the $200,000 Forward Gal S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday is the next contest up in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races.
The seven-furlong event is one of the last races left in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) Prep Season series, which offer points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the top four finishers, respectively. After Sunday’s Busanda the only stakes left before the Championship series of contests kicks in are the Martha Washington S. at Oaklawn Park and Las Virgenes S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park, both on February 6.
First, though, seven fillies will take part in the Forward Gal on Saturday. Leading the charge could be front running Cathryn Sophia, who will put her two-for-two mark on the line while making her graded bow.
The John Servis pupil was last seen taking the Gin Talking S. by 16 lengths on December 5, and opened her career with a 12-length victory against Parx maidens on October 30. Cathryn Sophia earned a 99 BRIS Speed rating for her debut score and boosted that number to 102 for her stakes bow. Joel Rosario was aboard for both races and will be back in the saddle on Saturday.
Cathryn Sophia is one of only two runners in the Forward Gal who already owns a stakes win. The other is Ballet Diva, a three-time stakes victress for trainer Stanley Gold.
That chestnut miss also broke her maiden first out by double-digit lengths, and is the most experienced winner in the group having racked up a 7-4-0-2 mark thus far. Ballet Diva took part in all three legs of the Florida Sire Stakes series at Gulfstream and Gulfstream Park West, claiming the Susan’s Girl division and placing in the Desert Vixen division, before closing out her juvenile campaign with an easy two-length score in the House Party S.
Dad’s Kiddo finished second in the House Party S., and lined back up against Ballet Diva in the Old Hat S. (G3) on January 2 for their sophomore debuts. Ballet Diva finished third while Dad’s Kiddo was another three parts of a length back in fourth, making them the only Forward Gal entrants with a 2016 race already under their girth.
Disco Rose is another contender on Saturday and, like Ballet Diva, owns seven starts already. However, the Robert Reid Jr. trainee only shows one win, with that coming in a maiden at Parx Racing in early October. The bay lass shipped to Aqueduct for her next two efforts, resulting in a fourth-place run in the Tempted S. (G3) and third placing in the Demoiselle S. (G2). That latter race gave Disco Rose a spot on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with two points, and she’ll attempt to add to that total in the Forward Gal.
The field is completed by Island Saint, who sandwiched a third in the Sorority S. and fifth in the Matron S. (G2) between a maiden win and allowance/optional claiming score; Conquest Babayaga, who followed a 6 3/4-length debut victory with a runner-up effort in the Glorious Song S., both at Woodbine; and Rontos Lily, who just broke her maiden in her fourth try last out on Gulfstream’s turf but was also third on Gulfstream Park West’s main track in the Juvenile Filly Sprint S.