01/11/2012 2:44PM

Aqueduct: Lovely Lil stands out in We’ll Sea Ya Stakes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Lovely Lil comes into the We’ll Sea Ya Stakes off a victory in the Go for Wand on Nov. 25.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Here was trainer John Kimmel’s reaction when he picked up the overnight and saw Lovely Lil in Friday’s $75,000 We’ll Sea Ya Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares at Aqueduct: “Oh my God, what is she doing in there?’’ said Kimmel, who was hoping the one-mile stakes would be a good spot for his filly Mineralogist.

What Lovely Lil is doing is prepping for a likely start in next month’s Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park. The $200,000 Barbara Fritchie will be run Feb. 18.

Lovely Lil stepped out of the New York-bred ranks to win the Grade 2 Go for Wand (formerly the Top Flight) at Aqueduct on Nov. 25. Trainer Mike Hushion immediately began thinking of the Barbara Fritchie, but didn’t want to go 12 weeks without running. As a New York-bred daughter of Tiznow, Lovely Lil is a natural fit for the We’ll Sea Ya, a two-turn mile race. Lovely Lil is 1 for 2 at a mile, including a neck loss in a two-turn allowance at Parx Racing in September 2010.

“At that time, I was concerned about a mile,” Hushion said, referring to the Go for Wand. “I’m certainly not anymore. Between that race and the one at Philly Park, she’s certainly proven she can get it.”

Depending how she breaks, Lovely Lil, who must carry co-highweight of 123 pounds, has the speed to wire this group under Cornelio Velasquez.

“A lot of times when she hasn’t been forwardly placed, it’s because of the break,” said Hushion, noting that Lovely Lil has had a few races where she’s gotten slammed at the start. “When she breaks clean, she tends to take him there.”

Kimmel is hoping that Opus A, who Mineralogist ran down to take the Soft Morn Stakes here Dec. 8, can put enough pressure on Lovely Lil to give his 5-year-old mare a chance.

“The only chance I have is if those two go out there and kind of knock heads,” Kimmel said by phone from south Florida. “She’ll sit back and find her comfort zone, and if they go too fast, she’ll have a chance.”

Nicole’s Miss El finished second to Lovely Lil in the Union Avenue Stakes going six furlongs at Saratoga in the summer. Nicole’s Miss El finished last in the Iroquois at Belmont in October – a race from which she emerged with a back injury – and came off a two-month layoff to run second to Reds Round Table in the Tate Stakes, an open-company sprint race on Dec. 16. All six of Nicole’s Miss El’s victories have come at six furlongs.

“I don’t think the mile will be as difficult as running against Lovely Lil,” trainer Daniel Conway said.

Nicole’s Miss El is coupled with Lyndsea’s Miss El as both are owned by Ron Kiser. Lady Gracenote completes the field.

We'll Sea Ya Stakes, Post Time: 1:21 ET Friday

Purse: $75,000; 1 mile





ML Odds


Nicole's Miss El

D. Conway, Jr.

N. Alvarado



Lyndsea's Miss El

D. Breed

D. Carr




J. Kimmel

D. Cohen



Lovely Lil

M. Hushion

C. Velasquez



Opus A

R. Violette, Jr.

A. Garcia



Lady Gracenote

G. Contessa

R. Dominguez