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Daisy Devine Enters Silverbulletday Picture
James Miller’s Daisy Devine popped clearly into the picture for Fair Grounds’ upcoming three-race sophomore filly series with an upset one-length victory in Thursday’s $47,000 featured mile and 40-yard allowance test for juvenile fillies at the New Orleans oval.
The sophomore filly series will culminate this spring with the 44th running of the Grade II, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 26 at 1 1/16-miles. It begins with the $100,000 Silverbulletday Stakes Jan. 22 at 1 mile and 40 yards and continues with the Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes Feb. 19 at 1 1/16-miles on Louisiana Derby Preview Day prior to the Fair Grounds Oaks.
In Thursday’s test, Daisy Devine, an Andrew McKeever trainee who was overlooked in the wagering, pressed the pace under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., gained the advantage before the furlong grounds and held sway the rest of the way.
The daughter of Kafwain, who broke her maiden for a $30,000 claiming tag at last asking on Dec. 2 at Fair Grounds, paid $82.20, $24 and $4.80, toured the distance in 1:43.70 and increased her career earnings to $39,788 with her second victory in three career starts.
Fleur de Lis Racing’s Suave Voir Faire, also trained by McKeever, was unhurried early and rallied late to gain the place while finishing a nose in front of Thoroughbred Futures Racing II’s Switching Gears, the even-money favorite who lacked the needed late response.
Suave Voir Faire paid $5.40 and $2.80 and Switching Gears returned $2.40 for the show.
Joe Agular’s Sharp Tongue Lady made the pace with splits of 23.54 and 48 flat before weakening to fourth.
McKeever indicated that Daisy Devine would likely be pointed to the Silverbulletday Stakes. “The further she goes the better,” he said.
Plans for runner-up Suave Voir Faire, however, remain undetermined. “She was sent to me by ‘Speedy’ Smithwick so we’ll have to talk to Speedy about what to do with her.”
Daniel “Speedy” Smithwick, trainer of record for the Suave filly’s first four starts, was recently released from a two-month hospital stay after suffering three broken vertebrae and a fractured skull in a fall down the stairs of his home in October.
Racing resumes Friday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race New Year’s Eve program featuring three stakes races and a first post time of 12:40 p.m.