IEAH Stables and Whizway Farms' AMEN HALLELUJAH (Montbrook) has already made a name for herself on the West Coast, but on Saturday faced her toughest task to date when making her dirt bow in the $150,000 Davona Dale S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The Richard Dutrow trainee tracked the pacesetting Bickersons (Silver Deputy) along the inside, took command at the quarter-pole and easily drew off for the 6 1/4-length victory under jockey Julien Leparoux.
"I brought her back from California just to run in this race," Dutrow explained. "I've always thought she'd be better on dirt. She trains better on dirt than the synthetic. I really hadn't thought about what might be next."
"It was a good race for her," Leparoux said. "She ran very nice and easy today, and she went well over the track. That other filly (Bickersons) is a ice filly, and my filly went up to her real easy and kept going."
Sent off the 2-1 second choice in the six-filly field, Amen Hallelujah finished up one mile on the fast dirt in 1:37 to pay $6, $4 and $3.20 while keying the $88.20 exacta and $465.40 trifecta. Joanie's Catch (First Tour), who rallied for second by a head over Mambo Fever (Stormin Fever), returned $12.20 and $4.80 as the 26-1 longest shot on the board. Show was worth $5.20 at 15-1, and the 1-3-7-4 superfecta totaled $1,159.80.
Bickersons, who set the initial half-mile in :24 2/5 and :47 2/5, rounded out the top four, and was followed under the line by Sassy Image (Broken Vow) and Comic Marvel (Distorted Humor). Female Drama (Indian Charlie) was scratched, and Christine Daae (Giant's Causeway) was withdrawn in favor of the 8TH race at Gulfstream on Sunday.
Amen Hallelujah dropped her initial two starts, but then rebounded in a big way for Steve Asmussen to break her maiden by one length and then capture an allowance/optional claimer by five lengths over the Polytrack at Arlington Park. Purchased not long after by IEAH Stables and transferred to Dutrow, the dark bay lass proceeded to run third in both the Alcibiades S. (G1) and Hollywood Starlet S. (G1). The filly made her sophomore bow in the Santa Ynez S. (G2), rallying on the outside to score by three parts of a length, and has now banked $312,370 to go along with an 8-4-1-2 career mark.
Bred in Florida by Thorobeam Farm, Amen Hallelujah is out of multiple stakes winner Sara's Success (Concorde's Tune), who is a full sister to stakes victress Annatoga. This is the same female line as Grade 1-winning sires Roman Ruler (Fusaichi Pegasus) and El Corredor (Mr. Greeley) as well as Grade 3 scorers Silver Tornado (Maria's Mon), Seducer's Song (Unbridled's Song) and Like Now (Jules).
Amen Hallelujah brought $40,000 as a Keeneland September yearling in 2008.