HIGHLY REGARDED FRENCH-BRED DANZA CAVALLO ONE OF TWO SHIPPING IN FROM KEENELAND
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 22, 2015)–Monday’s Memorial Day headliner, the Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf, has attracted a talent laden cast of 10 fillies and mares including recent local graded stakes winners Blingismything and Queen of The Sand, along with a pair of invaders from Kentucky–Grade I stakes winner Hard Not to Like and graded stakes placed Danza Cavallo.
Trained by Eric Kruljac, Blingismything stalked the pace and was up to win the Grade III, one mile turf Wilshire Stakes by a nose on April 26 and will try 1 1/8 miles for the second time in her career on Monday. A close seventh, beaten just two lengths in her only other try at the distance–the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes five starts back on Dec. 27, Blingismything has been a gem of consistency, with her only out of the money performance in 10 races coming in the Frankel.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Arch, Blingismything is owned by Class Racing Stable and retains the services of leading rider Tyler Baze. With an overall mark of 10-4-2-3, she has earnings of $246,330.
Like Blingismything, trainer Paddy Gallagher’s Irish-bred Queen of The Sand exits a nose victory last time out, in her case, the Grade III, 1 ¼ miles turf Santa Barbara Handicap on April 18. Next-to-last in the early going, the 5-year-old mare rallied late, overcoming traffic trouble, to just prevail over Fanticola, who’ll she’ll again face in the Gamely.
Owned by Derrick Fisher, Queen of The Sand will make only her third start of the year and sports an overall mark of 23-8-2-3, with earnings of $343,920. Although winless in three tries at 1 1/8 miles, she has three wins from four tries at a flat mile on turf and will be ridden back by Drayden Van Dyke.
Trainer Phil D’Amato’s Fanticola, who just missed a gate to wire win over Queen of The Sand in the Santa Barbara on April 18, will likely show plenty of speed again when shortening up a furlong in the Gamely. A winner of the one mile turf Megahertz Stakes three starts back on Jan. 17, the 5-year-old Ontario Canadian-bred mare has been no worse than third in her last five starts. Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Fanticola, who has never run at the Gamely distance, is 15-4-4-6 overall, with earnings of $288,300.
Third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Queen of The Sand in the Santa Barbara, Team Valor International’s Three Hearts was perhaps unlucky in defeat, as she lacked room at the rail from the quarter pole to the furlong marker at odds of 5-2. Conditioned by Neil Drysdale, the 5-year-old Hat Trick mare is 6-1-2-2 at the Gamely distance and is 17-3-4-5 overall with earnings of $262,249. Ridden by Tyler Baze in her last three starts, she switches to Gary Stevens on Monday.
Trainer Christophe Clement’s Hard Not to Like, who caught a yielding turf when running third in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland April 11, brings a solid resume, that includes a Grade I win in last year’s Wiley, to Monday’s Gamely. Hard Not to Like finished first in the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles turf Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs Jan. 31, but was disqualified to second. The 6-year-old Ontario Canadian-bred mare by Hard Spun is 18-6-3-2 overall with earnings of $781,671. She’s owned by Speedway Stable, LLC.
French-bred Danza Cavallo rallied from far off the pace to take her second stateside start, a third condition allowance at 1 1/16 miles on turf April 17 at Keeneland. Second, beaten a neck in her U.S. debut, the Grade III, 1 ½ miles turf Long Island Handicap Nov. 8, Danza Cavallo has been favored in both of her U.S. starts. Conditioned by Chad Brown and owned by Sheep Pond Partners and Dubb, the 4-year-old filly by Sunday Break will be piloted for the third consecutive start by Irad Ortiz, Jr. She is 13-4-4-2, with earnings of $189,868.
With all horse assigned 119 pounds, here is the Grade I Gamely Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card Monday, with jockeys in post position order: Moulin de Mougin, Mike Smith; Three Hearts, Gary Stevens; Blingismything, Tyler Baze; Fanticola, Joe Talamo; Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez; Generosidade, Tiago Pereira; Elektrum, Flavien Prat; Danza Cavallo, Irad Ortiz, Jr.; Hard Not to Like, Victor Espinoza, and Queen of The Sand, Drayden Van Dyke.
First post time on Monday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.