02/25/2012 6:59PM

Gulfstream: Yara outgames Grace Hall in stretch, pays $131 in Davona Dale

Tom Keyser
Yara (left) gets the best of Grace Hall in deep stretch of the Davona Dale.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Calder based Yara, beaten 22 lengths in her only other graded stakes appearance, withstood a race long pace battle before outgaming Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Grace Hall by a neck to register a shocking victory in Saturday’s $250,000 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park.

Yara, a 3-year-old daughter of Put It Back owned by Anderson Castro’s Peras International, went postward at odds of 60-1 and paid $131. She also earned a $100,000 bonus put up by the Florida Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association for any Florida-bred who wins the Davona Dale.

Yara broke alertly under jockey Jesus Castanon to set the pace while removed from the inner rail. Grace Hall, making her first start since the Breeders’ Cup, prompted the issue from the outset while racing inside the winner on what appeared to be the deeper part of the track throughout the course of the day.

Grace Hall held a narrow advantage for most of the race but Yara was the stronger filly through the final furlong, poking her head in front near midstretch before holding on tenaciously to register a neck decision. It was another 3 1/2 lengths further back to Captivating Lass in third. She was followed, in order, by Disposablepleasure, The Cat’s All That, Nuffsaid Nuffsaid, Frolic’s Revenge, Salad Girl, and Taker Home.

The Davona Dale gave Jose Garoffalo the first graded stakes win of his training career.

“I’m a little surprised she won because the field was very tough but I’ve always had faith in this filly, especially at this distance,” said Garoffalo. “The key to the race was the good break and I knew if she could get to the lead like she did she would be tough. Every step of the race was a concern but when they hit the quarter pole, I knew she would win.”

Garoffalo said his main goal with Yara will be the Kentucky Oaks.

“She’ll have maybe one more race before then,” said Garoffalo. “I usually wait to see how they come out of a race before making any immediate plans.”