Dank Stretches Out To Lead European Exacta In Beverly D.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 17, 2013) – Dank came into the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (GI) perfect in two starts beyond a mile, and James Wigan’s Dansili filly made it three-for-three with a 4¼-length victory in the 1 3/16-mile race on Saturday as part of Arlington International Racecourse’s International Festival of Racing.
Dank was 3 ½ lengths off the pace turning for home, but when jockey Ryan Moore steered her in the middle path for clear running she responded with an electrifying turn of foot that easily dispatched her eight rivals while tying the stakes record with a time of 1:53.38. Fellow European import Gifted Girl closed for second but never threatened the winner.
“She’s been real aggressive all year,” said Moore, who rode for trainer Sir Michael Stoute. He also picked up his second Festival winner of the day, having previously won the American St. Leger aboard Darren Dance’s Dandino two races earlier. “She wasn’t at her best over the last couple, but she was in excellent condition coming into this, and when she kicked in it was all over.”
Dank paid $8.40, $5.60 and $4.20 while improving her record to six wins from 11 starts with lifetime earnings of $685,021. This was her first win at the Grade or Group I level to go with a Group II and two Group III scores.
Gifted Girl was making her Grade/Group I debut in the Beverly D. and was easily second best 2½ lengths ahead of Ausus in third, who finished a nose in front of 11-10 favorite Marketing Mix in fourth.
“We had a lovely run around,” said Thomas Queally, jockey of Alan Spence’s Gifted Girl. “She was slowly away, but she ran a super race. There’s still more to come for her.”
Trainer Danny Peitz was happy with the Grade I placing for Shadwell Stable’s Ausus, but it came at the expense of Marketing Mix, who never looked like a threat to win as the favorite.
“She was pulling and not settling like she normally does,” jockey Gary Stevens said of the Glen Hill Farm-owned mare. “She was comfortable, but she was pulling, which took away from her kick. I won’t make any excuses - the winner ran a huge race to set a new stakes record. Normally she gives me a real feeling of confidence, but she didn’t give it to me today. I knew a ways out it was going to be difficult.”
La Tia set the pace through fractions of :23.62, :48.16, 1:11.76, and 1:35.97 before giving way to the winner and others turning for home. Completing the order of finish behind La Tia in fifth were Solid Appeal, Duntle, Artemus Kitten, and Starformer.
“I know why she's local fan favorite,” said Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rode La Tia. “It took world class horses to beat her. We went out pretty quick but we had pressure early. She really stuck her neck out. Five-eighths out and they started running at her. It was a hardy move and she still hung on. She's a nice horse.”