02/27/2010 12:00AM

Davona Dale attracts solid talent

Barbara D. Livingston
Bickersons dominated a strong field in the seven-furlong Forward Gal last month.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The Grade 2 Davona Dale traditionally serves as a prep for the richer Bonnie Miss later in the meet. But this year the one-mile Davona Dale will not take a back seat to its more prestigious counterpart, having lured a stellar field topped by the speedy Bickersons and Grade 2 winners Amen Hallelujah and Sassy Image.

The Davona Dale tops a 10-race Saturday program that also includes a pair of Grade 3 stakes for older fillies and mares, the one-mile Sabin on the main track and the 1 3/8-mile The Very One on the grass. The Sabin will feature the local return of the reigning Davona Dale and Bonnie Miss champion, Justwhistledixie.

Bickersons dominated a strong field in the seven-furlong Forward Gal here last month, including Eclipse Award winner She Be Wild.

Amen Hallelujah took the worst of it at the post position draw, getting the rail for her local debut. Amen Hallelujah is coming off a three-quarter-length victory on Pro-Ride over Franny Freud in Santa Anita's Grade 2 Santa Ynez in her 3-year-old debut. The Davona Dale will be her first start on dirt.

Sassy Image, a multiple graded stakes winner, has won her last three starts, including the Sweetest Chant here earlier in the meet.

Joanie's Catch has finished second in five of her six starts since winning the Brave Raj last fall at Calder.

Completing the lineup are the lightly raced Christine Daae, undefeated Comic Marvel, Grade 3-placed Mambo Fever, and Female Drama.

Justwhistledixie drew the rail for the Sabin. She will be coming out of the one-mile chute for her first local appearance since her 1o3/4-length victory over Casanova Move in the 2009 Bonnie Miss. Justwhisledixie was transferred to trainer Bill Mott from Kiaran McLaughlin following her second-place finish in the Grade 1 Acorn in June.

Saturday's program also includes several interesting 3-year-old races, including a second-level allowance test going 1 1/8 miles that lured the Rick Dutrow-trained pair of Grade 1 winner Homeboykris and Radiohead, the Nick Zito duo of the undefeated Thomas Got Even and stakes-placed Quick Ride, along with the undefeated General Maximus.

Homeboykris, who finished fifth after contesting a fast pace in the Grade 3 Holy Bull, blew out a half-mile in 49.60 seconds on Wednesday.

She Be Wild works for rebound try

She Be Wild, who was not even nominated to the Davona Dale, worked five furlongs in 1:01 here Wednesday. She Be Wild finished fifth behind Bickersons as the 7-5 favorite in the Old Hat in her 3-year-old debut.

"I don't really think she likes this track all that much, but she's starting to get her act together and turn the corner now," said Wayne Catalano several hours before posting his 2,000th career training win on Wednesday. "She didn't get the trip I wanted, and the distance wasn't really her best in her last race. She wasn't going to beat the winner that day but probably could have been second. I really couldn't find anything wrong that made her run that bad, other than the excuses I made myself."

Catalano said he has nothing picked out for She Be Wild's next start, but said his options include the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs on March 13, the Bonnie Miss here the following week, or Keeneland's Ashland on April 3.

* Trainer Todd Pletcher may be on medication suspension, but his barn continues to flourish, capturing Wednesday's sixth race with Barge. John Velazquez rode the winner, who returned $20.40. Anthony Sciametta Jr. will be the trainer of record during Pletcher's absence.

* Stall applications for the 2010 Calder meet are now available and due back by March 17. The long Calder session opens on April 25.