03/28/2013 12:11PM

Gulfstream Park: Dreaming of Julia, Live Lively rematch in deep Gulfstream Oaks


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – With a race under her belt, a little added distance, and a five-pound shift in the weights, Dreaming of Julia may be poised to turn the tables on Live Lively when the two meet again in Saturday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks at Gulfstream Park.

Trouble is, the Gulfstream Oaks is not strictly a two-horse race. Emollient and Cue the Moon have bright futures, and Kimberly Jean and Original Script are not without a chance.

“It’s a good race,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Dreaming of Julia for Stonestreet Stables. “It’s more than just a two-horse race.”

At 1 1/8 miles, the Gulfstream Oaks is the same distance as the Kentucky Oaks, run May 3 at Churchill Downs. The Gulfstream Oaks offers 170 qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks on a 100-40-20-10 basis to the top four finishers.

Dreaming of Julia, who was dominant in her first two starts at 2 and was game winning the Grade 1 Frizette, should relish the 1 1/8 miles. In her last start, she chased Live Lively around the track in the 1 1/16-mile Davona Dale and was beaten 1 1/2 lengths while spotting her five pounds.

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“I was really pleased with the way she ran first time,” Pletcher said. “She ran steady onto the wire.”

Pletcher is concerned that Live Lively could be the controlling speed again in the Gulfstream Oaks and even considered running a pacesetter, or rabbit, in the race.

“We decided to let the race unfold as it is, and perhaps a mile and an eighth will be in our favor,” he said.

Live Lively, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, brings a three-race winning streak into the Gulfstream Oaks that includes an 11 1/4-length allowance win here going seven-eighths Jan. 1 and the Davona Dale.

Mark Hennig, who trains Live Lively for longtime client Lee Lewis, acknowledged that circumstances were in his filly’s favor in the Davona Dale but expects Live Lively to take a step forward in the Gulfstream Oaks as well.

“I’m happy to run her second time around two turns. I think she’ll know now a little bit what it’s about,” he said. “I would assume the first turn caught her a little off guard the first time, especially coming off the seven-eighths.”

With Joel Rosario in Dubai to ride Animal Kingdom in the $10 million World Cup, Rajiv Maragh comes in from New York to ride Live Lively from post 3.

Emollient, a Juddmonte Farms homebred daughter of Empire Maker, showed promise at 2 winning a maiden race at Belmont in her second start and finishing second to the still undefeated Unlimited Budget in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct, a race in which she made three runs at the winner after stumbling at the break.

In her 3-year-old debut, a first-level allowance race, Emollient got stuck on the inside and was shuffled from second to fourth around the far turn. She came off the rail in the stretch and ran down the Pletcher-trained Majestic River to get the win.

“It was a good race, because she got in so much trouble around the turn and overcame that,” said Kenny McCarthy, the Gulfstream-based assistant to trainer Bill Mott.

Jose Lezcano, aboard for Emollient’s maiden win last September, has the ride from post 6.

Emollient finished second to Cue the Moon when both debuted at Saratoga last Sept. 2. Cue the Moon was beaten a neck by My Happy Face in the Grade 3 Tempted last Nov. 4 at Aqueduct and hasn’t run since. James Bond, trainer of Cue the Moon, a duaghter of Malibu Moon, believes the distance of this race will suit her.

Rosie Napravnik has the call.

Original Script was an odds-on favorite in all three of her races at Woodbine – two wins and a second in the Ontario Lassie on Dec. 9. She makes her dirt debut in this spot for trainer Paul Attard.

Kimberly Jean finished second to the highly regarded Close Hatches in a first-level allowance race here March 10.

The Gulfstream Oaks will go as race 8 on the 13-race card and kicks off the 10-cent Rainbow 6, which started Thursday’s card with a $1.4 million carryover.