09/29/2016 12:26PM

Fawkes hopeful Cajun Delta Dawn can overcome wide draw in My Dear Girl

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Trainer David Fawkes is confident Cajun Delta Dawn will get the 1 1/16 miles of the My Dear Girl.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – One couldn’t blame trainer David Fawkes for having a flashback to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff after learning that his undefeated 2-year-old filly Cajun Delta Dawn had drawn post 13 in a field of 13 for Saturday’s $500,000 My Dear Girl Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

“It reminds me of Sheer Drama after she drew post 14 in a 14-horse field for the Distaff,” Fawkes said shortly after the draw Wednesday.

Sheer Drama, who was retired earlier this year, ultimately broke from post 13 and did well to finish fourth in the Distaff. But Fawkes and most everyone else will be expecting more from Cajun Delta Dawn, who enters the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl undefeated in four starts. She’s in a position to sweep the fillies’ division of the Florida Sire Stakes series and possibly earn a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies if she can overcome her post and win again Saturday under regular rider Juan Leyva.

“Hopefully, she’ll break okay and Juan can take a hold, drop her over, and save ground into the first turn,” said Fawkes.

Cajun Delta Dawn won her first three starts by margins of a neck, a half-length, and a neck before turning in a breakout performance to dominate the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl by five lengths over Stormy Embrace. Fawkes said he thinks she should have no trouble getting 1 1/16 miles despite her outside slot.

“She’s very versatile, has learned to settle down, and while the post concerns me, the distance does not,” said Fawkes.

Fawkes also entered Surprise Wedding, who won her only previous start under a $50,000 claiming tag Aug. 24 and more than held her own while working with Cajun Delta Dawn last weekend.

“She’s doing great, had a nice breeze the other day and deserves the opportunity,” said Fawkes.

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Trainer Kathleen O’Connell, who swept the fillies’ division of the Sire Series with Scandalous Act three years ago, is hopeful that Stormy Embrace can turn the tables on Cajun Delta Dawn after finishing sixth in the Desert Vixen and second in the Susan’s Girl.

“She had excuses in her last two starts, and I think she’ll go a mile and one-sixteenth,” said O’Connell.

Larryandpearlslucy and Fleet Dude will ship in for the My Dear Girl. Larryandpearlslucy is coming off a 4 1/2-furlong debut win at Mountaineer. Fleet Dude scored her maiden victory on turf at Indiana Grand.

My Dear Girl, Race 10

Key Contenders

Cajun Delta Dawn, by Kantharos

Last 3 Beyers: 75-60-64

◗ Only seven horses have started from post 13 going 1 1/16 miles on dirt here over the last seven years, and none of them won.

Stormy Embrace, by Circular Quay

Last 3 Beyers: 64-49-61

◗ Was easily second-best in the Affirmed Stakes despite drifting late under leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who will ride Dude Fantasy in the My Dear Girl.

Sweet Tooth Haven, by Vineyard Haven

Last 2 Beyers: 81-50

◗ Posted the highest Beyer Speed Figure in the field in winning her debut going six furlongs but bounced, finishing a distant fourth, when returning as the odds-on favorite on just two weeks’ rest in the Susan’s Girl.