Leave No Trace was the only horse to hand juvenile filly champion Wonder Wheel a loss last season, and was also second best to that rival when last seen in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in November.
On Saturday, Leave No Trace will have an opportunity to showcase that back class when she breaks from post 10 in the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) over one mile at Gulfstream Park. The Davona Dale will award Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifying points of 50-20-15-10-5 to the respective top five finishers.
Leave No Trace outran expectations throughout her freshman campaign. Dropped into the Spinaway (G1) second out following a victory in an auction restricted maiden, Leave No Trace defeated Wonder Wheel by 1 1/2 lengths as a 14-1 longshot. Although a tiring third in the Frizette (G1) next out in the slop, Leave No Trace rebounded with a fine effort in the Breeders’ Cup when overlooked at 25-1.
“I think she’s fit enough. After the Breeders’ Cup we just gave her six weeks off. We kind of kept her at the barn and hand-walked her in the shed, just to give her a chance to chill out a little bit,” trainer Phil Serpe said. “She’s come back fine. This seemed like a good starting point for us. We were originally thinking a little earlier in February, but I really didn’t want to turn her back to seven furlongs off of the Breeders’ Cup race.
“Other than the Breeders’ Cup, her previous three races were all one-turn races so we’re good with that. It’s a good starting point as far as there’s a lot of places to head for down the road, whether it’s the Ashland (G1), the Kentucky Oaks, the series in New York.”
The top four finishers from the Feb. 4 Forward Gal (G3) over seven furlongs appear on paper to be the main challengers. Red Carpet Ready maintained her undefeated record with a 2 1/4-length victory over second-time starter Undervalued Asset. Atomically was another length behind in third, while Positano Sunset finished a distant fourth after an awkward start in what was her first outing since mid-November.
Infinite Diamond was a track-and-distance winner of the Cash Run S. on Jan. 1 for trainer Patrick Biancone, finishing more than two lengths ahead of Lynx, who took the first two legs of the Florida Sire S. for juvenile fillies last summer. Two-time stakes winner Dorth Vader, meanwhile, will look to rebound off a poor showing as the favorite in the Gasparilla S. at Tampa Bay Downs.