08/06/2016 6:16PM

Cajun Delta Dawn up in time in Desert Vixen Stakes

Kenny Martin/Coglianese Photos
Cajun Delta Dawn (left) rallies to edge Lu Lu Laura by a neck in the Desert Vixen Stakes on Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Cajun Delta Dawn rallied resolutely down the stretch to reel in the front-running Lu Lu Laura and win the $200,000 Desert Vixen Stakes by a neck on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, improving her career record to 3 for 3. It was a courageous effort by Lu Lu Laura, who carved out blistering fractions of 21.62 and 44.82 seconds before just failing to last.

Cajun Delta Dawn ($8.60), ridden by Juan Leyva, saved ground for most of the trip, running in third place along the rail while Lu Lu Laura and jockey Eduardo Nunez set the pace, with Evvamene tracking her closely in the No. 2 path. Evvamene began to fade in the stretch, and Leyva angled Cajun Delta Dawn out into the No. 2 path. She steadily gained ground on Lu Lu Laura and got up just in time, finishing the six-furlong race in 1:11.94.

“We were running out of racetrack, and she ran huge to kick in like that,” winning trainer David Fawkes said. “Fortunately, they went quick early, which helped her. She was a little bit close [early], and I was a little bit worried. Turning for home, she just kind of lost her way a little bit, and he had to be really busy on her. She’s a little green still, maybe, but I’ll take a green horse any day that wins three in a row.”

Cajun Delta Dawn, a Kantharos filly owned by Curtis G. Mikkelson, scored a front-running neck victory in her debut in a $55,000 maiden special weight race here June 10 and rallied from just off the pace to win the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes over open company by half a length here July 2. She’s earned $201,105.

The Desert Vixen was the first leg of the fillies’ division of the Florida Sire stakes series for 2-year-olds sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida. Fawkes said Cajun Delta Dawn will be pointed to the second leg of the three-race series, the $300,000 Susan’s Girl at seven furlongs here Sept. 3.

Lu Lu Laura, a Circular Quay filly trained by Kathleen O’Connell, has finished second in both of her starts, having debuted in a maiden special weight race here in May. She finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of third-place U S Diva in the Desert Vixen.