Thirteen sophomore fillies, including Forward Gal Stakes (G3) winner Take Charge Paula and Suncoast Stakes heroine C. S. Incharge, have been entered to go 1 1/16 miles on Saturday in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).
The contest is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series and will award 100-40-20-10 to the respective top four finishers.
Take Charge Paula is one of only two this year who will have run in all three of Gulfstream’s series of stakes for sophomore fillies when she lines under Jose Ortiz on Saturday. The dark bay miss actually made her debut for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in the February 3 Forward Gal Stakes (G3), scoring by 3 1/2 lengths, after being conditioned by Kelly Breen throughout her two-year-old campaign.
The Take Charge Indy lass racked up a 6-4-1-0 mark, including a trio of stakes wins and a runner-up effort in the Matron Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park, as a juvenile. After taking her sophomore bow, Take Charge Paula returned March 3 in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2), the second leg of Gulfstream’s filly series, and rallied to be second.
Though she won’t face the winner of that race on Saturday, Take Charge Paula will have to overcome Heavenhasmynikki once again.
That Anthony Quartarolo trainee is the only other filly in the field to complete Gulfstream’s series of three-year-old filly stakes. After breaking her maiden by 5 1/4 lengths and taking an allowance/optional claimer, the Majestic Warrior chestnut tried to lead all the way home in the Forward Gal but faded to fourth after facing intense early pressure. Heavenhasmynikki lined back up in the Davona Dale and once again was on the front end dueling before settling for third, only three parts of a length behind Take Charge Paula. She’ll get a jockey change to Robby Albarado to help her chances this go around.
Alter Moon faded to sixth in the Davona Dale after dueling early with Heavenhasmynikki. The Jose Velez charge wired her maiden prior to that while going seven furlongs and gets Jesus Rios holding the reins for the first time.
C. S. Incharge captured her sophomore debut on January 3, taking an off-the-turf maiden by 3 1/2 lengths in front-running fashion. The Dale Romans pupil then shipped to Tampa Bay Downs and captured her stakes bow in the Suncoast Stakes by three parts of a length to run her 2018 mark to a perfect two-for-two. The bay daughter of Take Charge Indy seems to have turned a corner this year and gets Chris Landeros in the saddle for the first time in this spot.
Blonde Bomber is looking to rebound here after one-paced efforts in her prior two starts this year. The Stanley Gold-trained daughter of Fort Larned broke her maiden at Gulfstream last September by 4 1/2 lengths, romped by 7 1/4 lengths in the Our Dear Peggy Stakes later that same month, then closed out 2017 with a nice rallying third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in November at Del Mar. Unfortunately, Blonde Bomber has not been able to carry that form forward into her sophomore season thus far, running fourth in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds and fifth in the Suncoast. The well-traveled gray lass gets a rider change to Edgard Zayas while trying to turn things around here.
Daisy and Mihrab finished second and third, respectively, in the Suncoast last out, separated by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire. The former took her maiden debut by eight lengths at Parx Racing, then shipped to Aqueduct for trainer John Servis to add a 4 3/4-length victory in the Tempted Stakes (G3) to her resume. Daisy closed out 2017 with a fourth-placing in the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) and opened her sophomore season in the Suncoast last out under returning jockey John Velazquez.
Mihrab took two tries to break her maiden, getting the job done in December by 5 3/4 lengths at Laurel Park. The Graham Motion charge returned late that same month to be fourth in the Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel before heading south to Tampa Bay Downs for the Suncoast. Nik Juarez has the call in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.
Eight Thirtyone and Silver Bay each bring a perfect two-for-two mark into this one. The former is both making her stakes bow and first start for new trainer Anthony Quartarolo after beginning her career in Jeff Radosevich’s shedrow. The Graydar filly broke her maiden by 6 3/4 lengths and wired an allowance by two lengths, both at Mahoning Valley while going 5 1/2 furlongs over a sealed, off track. The bay lass gets a jockey switch to Albin Jimenez. Silver Bay took her maiden by 5 1/2 lengths for trainer William Hickey before wiring the Juvenile Fillies Sprint by a neck. Both of those efforts came at Gulfstream Park West, and the Currency Swap miss keeps Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle for her graded bow Saturday.
Cache hopes to rebound off a fifth-placing in the Davona Dale last out for trainer Mark Hennig. The Distorted Humor bay lass broke her maiden at first asking on January 27 at Gulfstream and stayed at the track for the Davona Dale last out. Julien Leparoux takes the mount for the first time on Saturday.
Coach Rocks took seven tries to break her maiden, finally getting the job done in gate-to-wire fashion last out on February 14 by eight lengths. The Dale Romans pupil posted that score over track and distance and retains the services of Luis Saez while facing winner’s for the first time here.
Tell Your Mama is winless from eight starts thus far for trainer Bob Hess Jr. and gets Luis Colon aboard. Princess Warrior returns to the main track in this spot after running fourth in the Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) on March 3. Conditioner Kenny McPeek has tabbed Irad Ortiz Jr. to ride.