A field of 12 sophomore fillies has been entered to go a mile and 70 yards at Fair Grounds on Saturday in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, and Wonder Gadot will be looking for her second straight stakes score in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks points contest.
The Silverbulletday is the second race of the year offering points toward a starting berth in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. The top four finishers will take home 10-4-2-1 points, respectively.
Wonder Gadot is cross-entered to the Lecomte Stakes (G3) going the same distance at Fair Grounds Saturday, but is likely to skip that Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) points affair against the boys in favor of the Silverbulletday.
Wonder Gadot began her career in Canada, taking her debut in a Woodbine turf allowance and finishing a close third in the grassy Natalma Stakes (Can-G1) before capturing the Mazarine Stakes (Can-G3) on the synthetic Tapeta. The Mark Casse-trained filly was last seen winning the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on December 2 to close out her juvenile campaign.
Prior to that, the dark bay daughter of Medaglia d’Oro finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Del Mar while trying a conventional dirt surface for the first time. John Velazquez piloted the sophomore lass in the Demoiselle and retains the mount here.
Among those lining up against the popular filly are Blonde Bomber and Heavenly Love.
Blonde Bomber will break just inside Wonder Gadot from the rail while making her seasonal bow in this spot. The Fort Larned filly took five tries to break her maiden, finally getting the job done at Gulfstream Park last September by 4 1/2 lengths, then added the Our Dear Peggy Stakes to her resume by 7 1/4 lengths only 28 days later. Trainer Stanley Gold took a chance and entered the gray miss to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and his faith paid off when Blonde Bomber finished third under returning jockey Jose Lezcano.
Like her stablemate Wonder Gadot, Heavenly Love broke her maiden on turf but immediately moved back to the main track to take the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland by 5 1/2 lengths. She also entered the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, but faded badly to finish 11th on the wire for Casse. The bay daughter of Malibu Moon can easily rebound off that effort and keeps jockey Julien Leparoux aboard.
America’s Tale has romped in her past pair and makes her stakes bow in the Silverbulletday. The Bernie Flint charge wired her maiden by 13 lengths in an off-the-turf contest at Churchill last November, good enough to earn the Gio Ponti filly a field-best 100 BRIS Speed rating. She returned December 17 at Fair Grounds to record an 8 3/4-length victory against allowance/optional claimers most recently, and teams up with regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr. for this next step up. Stellar Moon took her maiden at Delaware Park before rallying for a fourth-place finish in the December 16 Letellier Memorial at Fair Grounds. The Michael Stidham trainee gets a jockey switch to Robby Albarado for this one.
Remember Daisy tries the main track here while in just her second career start. The Gary Scherer pupil broke her maiden by 3 1/2 lengths last out on December 26 over Fair Grounds’ turf course. Saguaro Row makes her first start for trainer Brendan Walsh in this spot off a well-beaten fifth in the Rags to Riches Stakes under the Twin Spires last October 29. Noblame did well in a pair of state-bred stakes, scoring in the Rachel’s Turn Stakes and finishing second in the West Virginia Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders’ Classic, but faded to sixth against open company in the Letellier Memorial most recently.
Stronger Than Ever captured her maiden and an allowance at Churchill and Keeneland, respectively, but has failed to factor in her past two against stakes rivals. She finished seventh, beaten 11 lengths, in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill before closing out her juvenile season for trainer Kenny McPeek with a fading third in the Trapeze Stakes. Terra’s Angel also ran in the Trapeze but was beaten 20 lengths back in seventh. Two of the chestnut filly’s three wins have come in turf stakes.
Rounding out the Silverbulletday field are Shes Our Fastest, second in the Darby’s Daughter division of the Texas Stallion Stakes last out, and Missive, an allowance/optional claiming runner-up.