10/27/2009 11:00PM

Fillies step up after first wins


Lavender Romp and Deesadiva, each coming off a lopsided maiden victory on the same card last month at Philadelphia Park, step directly into stakes company for Friday night's $100,000 Roanoke Stakes at Penn National.

The six-furlong Roanoke drew a field of seven 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred fillies, including a first-time starter and two other maidens.

Lavender Romp, based locally with trainer Michael Pappada, and Deesadiva, who has raced and trained exclusively at Philadelphia Park, both competed for a claiming tag over a sloppy track on Sept. 27.

Although Lavender Romp (60) earned a slightly higher Beyer Speed Figure for her seven-length score over $25,000 maiden claimers than Deesadiva (56) did for her 8 3/4-length score over statebred $40,000 maiden claimers, the Andrea Gonzalez-trained Deesadiva may be the better prospect in the Roanoke.

Two years ago, Gonzalez shipped in recent maiden winner Espindola for the Blue Mountain Juvenile, and the 2-year-old proceeded to romp by 5 1/4 lengths as the 4-5 favorite.

Like Espindola, Deesadiva is owned by Bonnie Ratajski and will be ridden by Hector Ramos.

In addition, Gonzalez shows a 5-for-14 record (36 percent) with horses returning from their maiden win, according to DRF's Formulator.

Lavender Romp needed seven starts to finally clear her maiden condition. She may not have beaten much as the group that finished behind her has gone 0 for 4 since then with a high Beyer of 40.

Pappada also is just 2 for 21 with maiden winners in their next start.

The Gold Shepherd is the only two-time winner in the field. She defeated $10,000 maiden claimers two starts ago and repeated in a slowly run conditioned claiming event on Oct. 21. The Gold Shepherd comes back just nine days after she was claimed for $7,500 by trainer Tim Shea.