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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Already a multiple stakes winner on turf, trainer Todd Pletcher’s ultra-consistent Con Lima is back on dirt for Saturday’s $200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).
The Gulfstream Park Oaks is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to 3-year-old fillies that offers 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Oaks (G1) points to the top four finishers. This year’s edition is the 12th event on a 14-race card that includes the Florida Derby, a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race, and has a local post time of 5:17 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Gulfstream Park Oaks:
1. Con Lima 3/1 – She began her career on dirt and put together a 4-1-3-0 record (though the latter pair were rained-off-the-turf stakes) before finally getting her shot on grass last December. She defeated optional claimers gate to wire that day, then won the Ginger Brew Stakes and was second in the Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3) before named winner of the Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) via DQ last out.
“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a while,” Pletcher said regarding the surface change. “Her races on the turf have been very good, but she’s been consistent on both surfaces. It seemed like the right trip to try it.”
2. Bow Bow Girl 8/1 – She steps up to the big leagues after breaking her maiden in her fourth career start last time out in a gate-to-wire romp over this course and distance by 4 1/2 lengths. Trainer Dale Romans repeats at 20% with last-out winners and Corey Lanerie remains the only afternoon rider she’s ever known, but she’ll have to run without the race-day Lasix that she received in her past 2 starts.
3. Crazy Beautiful 5/2 – Trainer Kenny McPeek’s morning line fav won 2 straight to start her career including the 7-furlong Debutante Stakes, then finished second in Keeneland’s Pocahontas Stakes (G3) and the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) before finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). She crossed second in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) last out and can improve second off the bench.
“She ran great here (in the Davona Dale),” said McPeek, who won last year’s edition with eventual Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Swiss Skydiver. “I think that she’s training well enough that we should go right now.”
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4. Pens Street 9/2 – She broke her maiden on debut by a neck while going 6 furlongs here last September, then finished second over the same track setup against optional claimers in February. She was fourth, beaten almost 11 lengths, in the Davona Dale last time out but is bred to handle routing and has never raced anywhere else, so the only question left to answer is where her talent level lies.
5. Len Lo Lady 12/1 – Romans’ second entry needed 7 starts to break her maiden, finally succeeding in a local one-turn mile over this course while being risked with a claiming tag ($50k) for the first time. She exited that to finish third against optional claimers over the same track and distance last time out and tries artificial ground for the first time here. Speightstown sires 13% synthetic route winners.
6. Millefeuille 7/2 – She went 3-1-2-0 as a juvenile, including finishing a close second in the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct last December. She returned 2 1/2 months later in the Davona Dale, a local one-turn mile and the final prep for this event, but she never factored into the running before finishing seventh, beaten almost 22 lengths. If you forgive that dud, then she stands tall here.
7. Competitive Speed 8/1 – She was third in the Davona Dale last time out, finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind runner-up Crazy Beautiful in a race dominated gate-to-wire by a longshot. She won 3 straight in the winter including the local Glitter Woman Stakes, but she was sixth in the Forward Gal Stakes (G3) prior to the Davona Dale. This is her first try routing; her pedigree hints that she might be better sprinting.
“I don’t think two turns will be a problem for her,” trainer Javier Gonzalez said. “She’s been working very good and finishing up strong.”
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