Updated on 05/31/2011 1:28PM

Hollywood: Dubawi Heights and trainer break through in Gamely

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Benoit & Associates
Dubawi Heights wins the Gamely Stakes for her first Grade 1 victory and first for trainer Simon Callaghan.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Dubawi Heights extended her winning streak to four races and gave 28-year-old trainer Simon Callaghan his first Grade 1 win in Monday’s $250,000 Gamely Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Dubawi Heights ($11.40) was always near the front and caught pacesetter Celtic Princess, a 9-1 shot, in deep stretch to win the race for fillies and mares by a head, finishing 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.29. Cozi Rosie, the 9-5 favorite, finished third, closing from sixth on the backstretch.

Callaghan, a native of England, trained the 4-year-old Dubawi Heights before he relocated to the United States in late 2009. Dubawi Heights was stakes-placed in England in 2009, but had her American career delayed by a bone chip in a knee, a bout with colic and a tibia injury.

The current win streak includes a maiden race last November and two races in April – an allowance race at Santa Anita and the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap here over a mile on turf on April 30.

“This means everything,” Callaghan said. “It’s fantastic. She’s just getting better and maturing.”

The Gamely Stakes was Dubawi Heights’s first start at the highest level.


Trainer Simon Callaghan and jockey Joel Rosario after Gamely. (Youtube via Hollywood Park)

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Dubawi Heights was second for most of the race, chasing Celtic Princess, who set a decent pace of 23.26 and 47.52 seconds. Dubawi Heights trailed by 1 /-2 lengths with a furlong remaining but steadily made progress to lead near the line.

Restless Soul finished fourth, followed by Malibu Pier, Eclair de Lune, Turning Top and Madera Castana.

Callaghan admitted to anxious moments in the stretch.
“It was pretty tense and the filly on the lead was tough,” he said.

Celtic Princess, a 7-year-old mare bred in Brazil, was a Group 1 winner in that country in 2007. The Gamely was her first start in an American Grade 1 and her first stakes placing in this country. Trainer A.C. Avila said Celtic Princess was not quite ready for the Gamely.

“I knew I needed another two works,” he said. “We had a Grade 1 and we had to take a chance.”

A British-bred filly by Dubawi, Dubawi Heights has won 4 of 12 starts and $655,196. Callaghan said the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 13 is a long-term goal.