(From Colonial Downs Press Release) Eight fillies and mares, including the top three finishers in last year’s Virginia Oaks Gr. III, are set to go to post in Saturday’s $150,000 All Along Breeders’ Cup Stakes Gr. III at Colonial Downs. The All Along is the featured under card race on Colonial Turf Cup Day.
Morning line favorite Tizaqueena (l), a five year old mare trained by Michael Stidham, has earned a bankroll of over $630,000 and will break from post four. With eight wins on her resume, she has captured several stakes including the Gr. II Distaff Turf Mile, the LaCombe Memorial Handicap, and the Bayou Handicap. She will arrive at Colonial fresh off a win in the Gr. III Arlington Matron Handicap with E. T. Baird, who also has the mount for the All Along.
Second choice is Shared Account (below), the runner-up in last year’s Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs. The Graham Motion-trained four year old filly has finished out of the money in just three of eleven starts, accumulating $356,560 during her career. Shared Account won the Gr. II Lake Placid before finishing second in both the Gr. I Garden City and Gr. I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup. Three-time Virginia Derby winning rider Edgar Prado has the mount.
Dynaslew, a four year old filly owned by Live Oak Plantation, is the third early choice with Alan Garcia up. After breaking her maiden on third asking, the Dynaformer filly went on to win an allowance and an allowance optional claimer before winning the Gr. III Beaugay Stakes at Belmont in her most recent outing. With seven on the board finishes in ten lifetime starts, Dynaslew has earned over $190,000.
The fourth pick is Chilean-bred Casablanca Smile, a four year old filly trained by “Shug” McGaughey III. After winning her first Grade III by 2 ¼ lengths, she went on to finish on the board in four Grade I races before winning the Gr. I El Derby by six lengths earlier this year. With nearly $200,000 in earnings, the All Along Stakes will be Casablanca Smile’s first start in America. Kent Desormeaux is scheduled to ride.
Fifth early choice is Blind Date, winner of last summer’s Virginia Oaks. Trained by leading ’09 Colonial conditioner Hamilton Smith, the four year old Not For Love filly also holds the Hookedonthefeelin, Hilltop, and Pearl Necklace Stakes on her resume. Her most recent on-the-board appearance was a second place finish in last year’s Maryland Million Oaks. Blind Date will be ridden by local ’09 riding champ, Rosemary Homeister, Jr.
Rounding out the field is Omega Cat, who has been on the board in ten of sixteen lifetime starts, Katara, a Michael Matz-trained filly who ran third in last year’s Virginia Oaks, and Kitty Cat Express, a five year old Cat Thief mare who finished last of nine in the 2009 All Along.
(Photos by Candice Chavez via Flickr and NYRA via Flickr)