By Christine Oser BloodHorse
Sophomore fillies will take their turn on Tampa’s turf in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (G3T), run at 1 1/16 miles.
Delacour has another Lael runner entered, with Be Sneaky switching to the turf after placing in two stakes on dirt. The Into Mischief filly won on debut at Laurel Park last fall before finishing third there in the Smart Halo Stakes. She returned this year to run second on Tampa’s dirt in the Feb. 6 Suncoast Stakes.
“We’ve always had it in the back of our minds to run this filly on the turf, but at this stage, it’s a guessing game,” Delacour said. “She was a little aggressive (in the Suncoast), and we hope she can settle better on the grass and track the speed rather than setting the pace.”
Klaravich and Brown also have a Florida Oaks entrant. Domain Expertise, a Kitten’s Joy daughter, broke her maiden on Tampa’s lawn in December third time out, then took third in the Jan. 30 Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3T) at Gulfstream Park.
Starlight Racing’s Jouster with Todd Pletcher, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gianni Fittipaldi’s Mia Martina with Graham Motion, and Gainesway Stable’s Oyster Box, also with Motion, all enter off back-to-back maiden and allowance scores.
Mia Martina was transferred to Motion before her last start Jan. 10 at Gulfstream Park. Eclipse had purchased her, with one of the original owners in Fittipaldi retaining an interest, after her debut last November at Gulfstream Park West.
“She’s by a sire that we’re really high on, Not This Time —he’s really established himself as one to watch after his freshman year; now his first crop are sophomores,” said Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners president and founder Aron Wellman. “She’s a filly that just looks like the further the better; she had a beautiful turn of foot, and one that hopefully would mature with age as the way she’s built. She’s a big, tall, lanky filly, and we were very pleased to get that allowance win into her early in the year. After that we had put a circle around the Florida Oaks … We thought that the spacing would be very generous and then hopefully the Florida Oaks would be a race that could set her up deeper into the season.”