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Vequist Back In Action for Davona Dale Stakes

Horse Racing Radar
Frisco Bash
Frisco Bash is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Thursday, February 25, 2021

The super talented filly VEQUIST will make her first start of 2021 in Saturday's Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park. It is a Grade 2 race for three-year-old fillies going one mile on the dirt. The winner will receive 50 points for her Road to the Kentucky Oaks. The Post Time for this race is 5:04 PM ET.

The last time we saw VEQUIST was in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies back in November, in an exciting stretch drive where she rode the rail for jockey Joel Rosario and produced a late kick that propelled her past DAYOUTTHEOFICE for the win. She was an 8-1 shot that day; the betting public wasn't so convinced of her just yet. 

The Robert Reid Jr. trainee worked somewhat lightly at Prairie Meadows Training Center — being given two-week spaces between workouts. She has not raced since November, so this spot also serves as her fitness test. The goal, of course, is the Kentucky Oaks which is two months away. She'll probably run just one more time before it.

The Top 3 on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard are: CLARIERE, MNASEK, and TRAVEL COLUMN. 

VEQUIST quietly occupies the fourth spot but can jump up to first with a victory here in the Davona Dale.

Let's briefly look at what this star filly has done in such a short time!

In her racing debut at Parx, she failed to break her maiden and finished second. But that didn't stop her trainer Robert Reid Jr. from entering in a Grade 1 race shortly after. He must've known what talent she possessed because he ran her in the Spinaway-G1 at Saratoga, and she won by nine lengths! Then she ran in the Frizette Stakes-G1 where she finished a game second against a saltier, more accomplished group. And then, onto the big stage, she ran in the BC Juvenile Fillies where she enjoyed every furlong of that two-turn distance. She got a ground saving trip, followed by a vigorous ride under jockey Joel Rosario, and won kicking clear, producing her highest speed figure in the process.  

Joel Rosario will not ride VEQUIST on Saturday, for he's at Oaklawn Park riding JACKIE'S WARRIOR. Instead, Irad Ortiz Jr. gets the call and VEQUIST once more has a top pilot.

Is Vequist a surefire bet in Saturday's Davona Dale Stakes? 

Maybe, maybe not. She is the class of the field. But the fact that she hasn't run in three months opens the door for spoiler speculations.

She'll have ADIOS TRIPPI from the Peter Walder Barn to catch. This filly is quick and will bring speed and class to the front end and try to take them gate to wire. She dead-heated last time out at Tampa Bay Downs in the Gasparilla Stakes. Her trainer has quite a success rate (18%) for picking spots for horses seeking a consecutive win. Jockey Corie Lanerie gets the call, who's had considerable success teaming up with Peter Walder.

Another horse to watch is CRAZY BEAUTIFUL for trainer Ken McPeek. High hopes have surrounded this gray filly from the start. She was sold for $250K as an offspring of LIAM'S MAP whose stud fee is $30K. She was the betting chalk in her first four races, though today she is without a graded stakes win. Perhaps she'll deliver the breakout performance we've been waiting for? She might enjoy cutting back to one turn where she scored both of her wins, plus, the class relief should significantly help. Note she finished ahead of highly touted TRAVEL COLUMN two starts back. 

The rest of the field is: WHOLEBODEMEISTER, LADYTRAVELER, CURLIN'S CATCH, MILLEFUEILLE, COMPETITIVE SPEED, ADIOS TRIPPI, HINDSIGHT, HAPPY CONSTITUTION, PENS STREET, and THREE TIPSY CHIX.

This is a race you don't want to miss! We've had talented fillies emerge from here. The last time a filly won the Davona Dale and Kentucky Oaks together was SILVERBULLETDAY in 1999. In 2013, DREAMING OF JULIA won the Davona Dale and then went on to be favored in the Kentucky Oaks that same year. This is not an insignificant prep, and you might see your Kentucky Oaks favorite as one of these competitors.