01/23/2014 3:38PM

Gulfstream Park: As usual, a Pletcher filly prominent in Forward Gal


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Todd Pletcher is expected to continue his recent domination of the $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes on Saturday when he sends out the undefeated Onlyforyou to go seven furlongs against just five other 3-year-old fillies in the Grade 2 fixture at Gulfstream Park.

Pletcher won the previous two renewals of the Forward Gal with Kauai Katie and Broadway’s Alibi. Both those fillies were ridden to victory by John Velazquez, although Javier Castellano will take his regular seat aboard Onlyforyou on Saturday.

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Onlyforyou, a daughter of Malibu Moon, has drawn away to easy wins in each of her first two starts, capturing her debut at Aqueduct on Nov. 10 and her 2-year-old finale here five weeks later when cruising to a 3 1/2-length triumph against first-level allowance opposition. Both victories came at six furlongs.

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“She’s been perfect in two starts, she was very impressive winning the allowance race so we’re very excited about stepping up in class and trying her against stakes company,” said Pletcher, who trains Onlyforyou for Glencrest Farm LLC. “She’s continued to train very well and we’ve kind of had this circled on the calendar since her last race.”

Onlyforyou’s competition, from the rail out, consists of Resistivity, Aurelia’s Belle, Stately Defence, My Dear Regina, and Flash Encounter.
Resistivity has improved with experience and will be turning back in distance after leading throughout to post a 1 1/4-length maiden win going a mile here on Dec. 27 for trainer Mark Casse.

“I think she struggled with the track a little bit here last time and just won the race on her class,” said Casse. “I think cutting her back in distance is going to help her a little bit.”

Aurelia’s Belle is the only member of the field to be graded stakes-placed, having rallied to finish third, well behind Pletcher’s filly Sweet Whiskey, in the Grade 3 Old Hat earlier this month. The outing was the first on dirt for Aurelia’s Belle, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid who began her career winning on Polytrack at Keeneland.

Aside from Onlyforyou, Flash Encounter is the only other multiple winner in the lineup. She opened her 3-year-old campaign with a game allowance win at Calder after winning her maiden for a $50,000 claiming tag at Calder six weeks earlier.