10/01/2015 2:41PM

Gold pair looks best in My Dear Girl

Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Ballet Diva won the Susan's Girl Stakes in her last out.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Stanley Gold has won more Florida Sire Stakes races than any other trainer, and he’ll be favored to add to that enviable record when sending out Ballet Diva and Silent Prayer as the likely choices Saturday in the $500,000 My Dear Girl Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Ballet Diva and Silent Prayer finished first and second, a length apart, while well clear of the remainder of the field in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl Stakes over a sloppy track Sept. 5. The question is how the two homebred fillies will handle the stretch-out to 1 1/16 miles.

“Distance is a question mark for all of them,” said Gold, referring to the fact that none of the nine juvenile fillies in the My Dear Girl has ever been beyond seven furlongs.

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Ballet Diva has won three of her four starts, including two stakes, with her lone setback coming in the six-furlong Desert Vixen, in which she finished third behind It’s High Time and Silent Prayer.

“I was confident after the race she wasn’t grabbing the track that day,” said Gold. “She was just sliding around. She also had somebody pressing her. It just wasn’t her day, but she came back and did what she’s been doing in the Susan’s Girl, so for me, that one race is a throw-out.”

Silent Prayer never has been worse than third in four starts and was finishing strongest in the Susan’s Girl despite a reluctance to load into the gate and having to break from post 12 once she did go in.

“Ballet Diva has the outside post with a short run to the first turn, which is a disadvantage,” said Gold. “The other filly has the inside, should get a ground-saving trip, and isn’t that far behind Diva. Hopefully, with a little racing luck, it will be a good day in the end for [owner Jacks or Better Farm].”

The My Dear Girl will be the rubber match between It’s High Time, who won the Desert Vixen and finished third in the Susan’s Girl, and Ballet Diva. It’s High Time is trained by Jose Pinchen, who won the Susan’s Girl and My Dear Girl a year ago with Holywell.

Key contenders

Ballet Diva (Last 3 Beyers: 59-48-76)

* Post position could be the key to her chances, with horses breaking from post 9 having won just four times in 60 chances here since December 2012.

“She’s either going to have to rush to get to the lead and then likely get pressed by one or more of the stretch-out sprinters in here or could get hung out wide in a race that breaks so close to the turn, which isn’t good for any horse, especially 2-year-olds,” said Gold.

Silent Prayer (Last 3 Beyers: 57-50-44)

She showed a new dimension in the Susan’s Girl, rallying from near midpack after being on the lead in all three previous starts.

It’s High Time (Last 3 Beyers: 51-58-54)

Would expect to see her leave running and try to steal the early advantage from Ballet Diva after breaking from the advantageous inside post at this distance.