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Stakes Advance: Silverbulletday Stakes
Divine Beauty, 'Forever' Face Off in Silverbulletday
Brereton C. Jones’s Divine Beauty, heroine of the $60,000 Letellier Memorial here Dec. 21, and Charles Fipke’s Unbridled Forever, who broke her maiden by 5 ¼ lengths at Churchill Nov. 30 and is a daughter of Horton Stable et al.’s 2006 Kentucky Oaks winnerLemons Forever, head a field of six sophomore fillies named to Saturday’s $125,000 listed Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Road to the Derby Kickoff Day in New Orleans.
The Silverbulletday is the first of Fair Grounds’ three-race sophomore filly series that will continue with the Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes Feb. 22 and conclude with the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on Louisiana Derby Day March 29.
Five of the last nine Fair Grounds Oaks winners have gone on to win the Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs later in the spring.
Divine Beauty, who won the Letellier by an eased-up 6 ½ lengths last time, is trained byLarry Jones who first accomplished the New Orleans to Louisville Oaks double with Brereton Jones’s Proud Spell in 2008 and once again with Jones’s Believe You Can in 2012.
Unbridled Forever, who will be making her first start of the year here at Fair Grounds Saturday, is trained byDallas Stewart, who also conditioned her dam Lemons Forever to a long shot Kentucky Oaks score that resulted in a $96.20 win payoff eight and a half years ago.
Divine Beauty, who will be ridden by Fair Grounds’ three-time defending rider champion Rosie Napravnik in the Silverbulletday, breezed five furlong in company in 1:00.60 here Monday.
Unbridled Forever, who will be ridden by Fair Grounds’ seven-time leading rider Robby Albarado, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 last Sunday.
Capable of providing strong competition for Divine Beauty and Unbridled Forever is Ike and Dawn Thrash and Sam and Janet Alley’s Istanford, who scored a wire-to-wire victory by 2 ¾ lengths over the Stall-Wilson turf course here on Dec. 19 and also finished fifth in the Arlington-Washington Lassie over that Chicago oval’s Polytrack course after leading until the eighth pole. Trainer Mike Stidham has been high on the daughter of Istan since she got to Fair Grounds this winter. James Graham, aboard for Istanford’s local victory, will be in the irons once again.
Not to be discounted in the Silverbulletday is L. T. B. and Hillerich Racing’s Express Model, an Indiana-bred with a state-bred stakes victory to her credit in the Indiana Stallion Stakes at Indiana Downs. The daughter of Unbridled Express is trained by Bernie Flint and will be ridden by Richard Eramia in the Silverbulletday.
Completing the Silverbulletday field is Glockenburg LLC’s Army, who broke her maiden in her last start here on Dec. 23 and Agave Racing Stable’s Awesome Jill, third behind Istanford in their Dec. 19 match-up.
Army, trained by Pavel Vashchenko, will be ridden by Alexander Reznikov and Awesome Jill, conditioned by Michelle Lovell, will have Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons.