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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Swilcan Stable’s Vequist, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2020, stands out among 30 nominees as she is poised to launch her sophomore season in the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) Saturday, February 27 at Gulfstream Park.
The 1-mile Davona Dale for 3-year-old fillies is among eight stakes, seven graded, on a spectacular program supporting the $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) for 3-year-olds, and serves as the next step for sophomore females on the road to the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) March 27.
Last year’s Gulfstream Park Oaks was won by Swiss Skydiver, who would go on to defeat males in the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1) and win the Alabama (G1) en route to the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly.
Trained by Robert E. ‘Butch’ Reid Jr., Vequist broke her maiden in her second start – a 9 1/2-length romp in the 7-furlong Spinaway (G1) last summer at Saratoga. From there, the daughter of 2016 Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist ran second in the 1-mile Frizette (G1) and captured the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) November 6 at Keeneland by 2 lengths.
Vequist has spent the winter in South Florida, posting four works at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. Her most recent came February 13, when she went 5 furlongs in 59.65 seconds, second-fastest of 30 horses.
Trained and co-owned by Timothy Hamm, Dayoutoftheoffice is also nominated to the Davona Dale. She broke her maiden sprinting 4 1/2 furlongs last May at Gulfstream, then won the Schuylerville (G3) at Saratoga and beat Vequist in the Frizette before suffering her first loss when second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Others prominent among Davona Dale nominees are Ken McPeek-trained stablemates Simply Ravishing and Crazy Beautiful, 1-2 finishers in the Alcibiades (G1) last fall at Keeneland; trainer Todd Pletcher’s undefeated duo of Zaajel, winner of the January 30 Forward Gal (G3) at Gulfstream, and Malathaat, yet to race at 3 after capturing the Tempted and Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct; and stakes winners Adios Trippi, Competitive Speed, Curlin’s Catch, Dreaming of Drew, Gulf Coast, No Mo’ Spending, Oliviaofthedesert, and Quinoa Tifah.
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