03/28/2012 4:44PM

Gulfstream: Yara, Grace Hall clash again in Gulfstream Oaks


Yara went off at odds of 64-1 and outgamed the 4-5 favorite Grace Hall to upset the Grade 2 Davona Dale earlier this winter. But the Calder invader will not sneak up on anybody when the pair square off once again in Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks.

The Grade 2 Oaks is the highlight of the Florida Derby undercard and one of seven stakes on the outstanding 13-race card. A field of eight 3-year-old fillies was drawn Wednesday for the 1 1/8-mile Oaks with Yara drawing the rail and Grace Hall, who again figures to be the public’s choice, starting from post 5.

The Davona Dale marked the first start around two turns for Yara, a daughter of Put It Back who is trained by Jose Garoffalo for Peras International.

“It will be a different situation this time,” said Garoffalo. “Everybody will be paying attention to my filly."

[FLORIDA DERBY: Video previews, watch Saturday's full card live]

Yara has worked just once, an easy half-mile in 50 seconds at Calder on March 17, since her game victory in the Davona Dale.

“She’s just had one breeze and a couple of real strong gallops since her last start but that’s all she needs, she’s ready for the race,” said Garoffalo.  “I knew the Davona Dale was going to be tough but I had a lot of confidence in her because of the distance and the extra half a furlong on Saturday should be even better for her.”

Along with Yara and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Grace Hall, the Oaks lured the undefeated Zo Impressive along with Hearts of Red, Captivating Lass, The Cat’s All That, And Why Not, and Emma’s Encore.

Awesome Maria could go off the shortest price on the card when she takes on five rivals under high weight of 123 pounds in the Grade 3 Rampart, a race which lost some of its luster after the undefeated, Eclipse Award winner Awesome Feather was taken out of consideration earlier this week.

Grade 1 winner Jersey Town will make his 2012 debut in the $65,000 Sir Shackleton, the first of the seven stakes to be decided on Saturday’s card. Where’s Sterling, a troubled fourth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap, figures to be a short price in the Grade 3 Skip Away.
The Appleton and Orchid, both Grade 3 races on the turf, complete the stakes lineup.

Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), Post Time: 5:03 ET Saturday

Purse: $300,000; 1 1/8 miles





ML Odds



J. Garoffalo

J. Castanon



Zo Impressive

T. Albertrani

R. Maragh



Hearts of Red

R. Nicks

E. Prado



Captivating Lass

K. McLaughlin

J. Velazquez



Grace Hall

A. Dutrow

J. Castellano



The Cat's All That

C. Peery

E. Trujillo



And Why Not

M. Matz

J. Leparoux



Emma's Encore

H. Jerkens

J. Bravo