02/23/2012 3:22PM

Gulfstream Park: Grace Hall right on schedule in Davona Dale

Barbara D. Livingston
Grace Hall will make her 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Anthony Dutrow mapped out a plan for Grace Hall from the moment she won her career debut last summer at Delaware Park, a plan that called for a 3-year-old campaign that would begin Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the Grade 2, $250,000 Davona Dale.

Grace Hall, whose only setback came at the hands of division champion My Miss Aurelia in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, will launch her 3-year-old season facing eight rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Davona Dale, a race that serves as a prep for the meet’s major event for 3-year-old fillies, the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks, on March 31.

Grace Hall followed her maiden victory with a 1 3/4-length tally in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Spinaway. She returned to Delaware to win the mile and 70-yard Blue Hen in her two-turn debut, before concluding the season by rallying from midpack to be clearly second best in the Juvenile Fillies.

[MORE: PPs and video previews for the Saturday card at Gulfstream Park]

“Knock on wood, she’s kept us on the plan we’ve been approaching since last summer,” Dutrow said. “We couldn’t be happier with her, and we’re ready to get our season going Saturday. The Davona Dale is a big race, an important race to us, although it’s just a season opener. We’re not in the World Series yet. We’re keeping that in mind.”

Dutrow said if Grace Hall handles the track well, she’ll move on to the Gulfstream Park Oaks as a prelude to her first major goal of the year, the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Ramon Dominguez will be down from New York to take his regular seat on Grace Hall in the Davona Dale.

Grace Hall, who is favorably drawn in post 2, should receive her stiffest challenges from Captivating Lass and Disposablepleasure. Nuffsaid Nuffsaid, The Cat’s All That, Frolic’s Revenge, Yara, Taker Home, and Salad Girl complete the lineup.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin shipped Captivating Lass down from New York shortly after her victory in Aqueduct’s Busanda on Jan. 7.

“Our original plan was to run Miss Netta in the Davona Dale, but she suffered a slight setback, so we brought Captivating Lass in to run in her place,” McLaughlin said.

Disposablepleasure overcame an extremely eventful trip to post a game neck decision closing out her 2-year-old campaign in the Grade 2 Demoiselle.

“She’s grown a lot and had an extremely good winter since shipping down here,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Her win in the Demoiselle was very courageous. She fell on her head leaving the gate and was stopped making her run on the middle of the turn. She’s had a good series of works leading up to the race, and I’m looking forward to getting her started on Saturday.”

The Cat’s All That could be a bit of a sleeper, having finished second to a pair of heavy favorites, Broadway Alibi and Miss Netta, in allowance races earlier in the meet. A daughter of Discreet Cat, The Cat’s All That has been training forwardly for her stakes debut at Palm Meadows, where she worked a bullet five furlongs on Feb. 13.

Frolic’s Revenge, a distant ninth following a wide trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, switched to grass in her two subsequent starts, including a victory in the 1 1/16-mile Ginger Brew on Dec. 24.

Salad Girl and Nuffsaid Nuffsaid have each won their last two starts. Salad Girl won the Jersey Juvenile at Monmouth to close her 2-year-old campaign and Tampa Bay Downs’ seven-furlong Gasparilla to open her 3-year-old season.

Davona Dale S. (G2), Post Time: 5:13 ET Saturday

Purse: $250,000; 1 1/16 miles





ML Odds


Nuffsaid Nuffsaid

M. Hennig

J. Lezcano



Grace Hall

A. Dutrow

R. Dominguez



Captivating Lass

K. McLaughlin

J. Velasquez



The Cat's All That

C. Peery

P. Lopez



Frolic's Revenge

M. Wolfson

J. Leyva




J. Garoffallo

J. Castanon




T. Pletcher

J. Leparoux



Taker Home

B. Pirie

L. Contreras



Salad Girl

E. Plesa, Jr.

E. Trujillo