October 3, 2023

Competitive field of nine entered in Forward Gal

Pretty City Dancer captured the Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs on July 2, 2016 (c) Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

Saturday’s $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park attracted a well-matched group of nine sophomore fillies to go seven furlongs in hopes of taking home not only first-place but 10 points toward a starting berth in the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

The Forward Gal is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races and will award 10-4-2-1 points to the respective top four finishers.

Pretty City Dancer is one of the top runners in the Forward Gal, having closed out her juvenile campaign with a dead-heat victory in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on September 3. That was the Mark Casse trainee’s first foray outside of Churchill Downs as she opened her career with a third-place finish before breaking her maiden and taking the Debutante Stakes, all under the Twin Spires.

Pretty City Dancer will get Julien Leparoux back in the saddle in this spot while facing the likes of Ms Locust Point, Wildcat Kate, Bode’s Dream and Summer Luck.

Ms Locust Point actually ranks first in BRIS Primer Power (142) in this field following a 4 3/4-length maiden score and 4 1/4-length victory in the Gin Talking Stakes. She earned a field-best 102 BRIS Speed rating for that latter contest, and gets jockey Joel Rosario in the irons for the first time while making her graded bow for trainer John Servis.

Wildcat Kate, Bode’s Dream and Summer Luck were one-two-three, respectively, in the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream on January 7. The top two were only separated by a neck on the wire and previously reversed positions when Bode’s Dream won the House Party Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths on December 10. Summer Luck made her stakes bow in in the Old Hat.

The Forward Gal field is completed by stakes winners Tequilita and Lirica, as well as stakes-placed winners Brahms Cat and My Lerler.