01/10/2013 4:19PM

Oaklawn: Lady Stonewall getting stakes shot in Dixie Belle


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Lady Stonewall appears to have the makings of a quality runner, and on Saturday she will get her first shot at stakes competition in the $60,000 Dixie Belle at Oaklawn Park. The opening weekend feature is for 3-year-old fillies. Others making up the field for the six-furlong race include two-time stakes winner American Sugar and the undefeated Baby Princess.

Lady Stonewall has raced twice, and has been favored in both of her starts. In her debut at Keeneland on Oct. 11 she rallied for second behind Cor Cor in a maiden special weight sprint. One start later, Lady Stonewall won her maiden, getting up for a head score in another maiden special weight sprint, run at Churchill Downs on Nov. 15.

“I think she’s going to move forward off of the race at Churchill,” said Lynn Whiting, who trains Lady Stonewall for Oaklawn’s president, Charles Cella. “In the race at Keeneland, the filly that beat us that day, she beat the gate. She left that gate running and was three in front before anyone knew what happened. And that filly came back and won a stakes in her next start, then was second in the Old Hat at Gulfstream about 10 days ago. She’s a pretty good horse.”

Cor Cor took the Sandpiper at Tampa on Dec. 1, then was the runner-up to Kauai Katie in the Grade 3 Old Hat on Jan. 1.

As for Lady Stonewall, she has been prepping for her stakes debut at both Churchill Downs and Oaklawn, among her drills five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.60 in Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 26. She will break from post 7 under Robby Albarado.

“I think she’s got a chance to go two turns, and we won’t rush her off her feet,” said Whiting. “Hopefully, she’ll come and get them.”

Lady Stonewall is a daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner Harlan’s Holiday. Her dam, Ruby Surprise, won the Grade 2 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs in 2000 and has produced a four-time stakes winner in Free Flying Soul.

American Sugar will be cutting back to one turn after finishing fourth in the $50,000 Mistletoe, an overnight stakes at Remington Park on Dec. 9. The last time she sprinted she won the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial, also at Remington, on Oct. 26. American Sugar’s other stakes win came in the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Gold Lassie in July. Alex Birzer has the mount for Poindexter Thoroughbreds and trainer Lynn Chleborad.

◗ Oaklawn will offer 50-cent corned beef sandwiches and 10-cent sodas Saturday.