Updated on 09/17/2011 9:58AM

Things get serious in Davona Dale

Four Footed Fotos
My Boston Gal's perfect record will be in jeopardy in Sunday's $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - My Boston Gal is undefeated after three starts, but her perfect record could be in serious jeopardy when she takes on the more seasoned pair of Ivanavinalot and Perfect Story in Sunday's $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16-mile Davona Dale is the highlight of a 10-race program that also includes the $75,000 Georgia Stakes and $65,000 Charon Stakes.

A field of six was entered for the the Grade 2 Davona Dale, including Smokey Blue, who was cross-entered in Charon earlier on the card. The Davona Dale is the winter's first major test on the East Coast for 3-year-old fillies on the road to the Kentucky Oaks. The race also serves as a prep for the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes here March 14.

My Boston Gal easily captured all three of her 2-year-old starts, including Churchill Downs's Grade 2 Golden Rod by 3 1/4 widening lengths. But even trainer Carl Nafzger admits he will need to see a lot more from My Boston Gal if she is to prove competitive against the best of her division this season.

"Even though she won the Golden Rod around two turns, we still need to see if she can win going two turns," Nafzger said. "By that I mean she didn't really run her race in the Golden Rod. She won on sheer talent that day. We were expecting a much stronger performance than we got. She's going to need more experience around two turns and show more before we hook Grade 1 horses down the road."

In the Davona Dale, My Boston Gal will hook a pair of Kentucky Oaks hopefuls, Ivanavinalot and Perfect Story.

Ivanavinalot was the queen of south Florida at 2. She opened her 3-year-old campaign on the road with an encouraging second-place finish in the seven-furlong Sunshine Millions Oaks at Santa Anita.

Ivanavinalot has already proven her mettle around two turns, having won Calder's Brave Raj and My Dear Girl Stakes by a combined 19 lengths. She will stand some catching if allowed to get loose on an easy lead in the Davona Dale.

"She doesn't have to be in front, but there's no secret she'll be on or close to the pace Sunday," said trainer Kathleen O'Connell.

Although Ivanavinalot has developed a habit of drifting out in the stretch of her races, O'Connell is not overly concerned.

"She can get a bit quirky through the stretch, that's just her," she said. "She didn't do it as badly at Santa Anita and I'm hoping it's something she'll outgrow."

Perfect Story has already registered a pair of victories here this meeting, including a professional two-length second-level allowance win making her two-turn debut on Feb. 5. Trainer John Ward believes Perfect Story, a half sister to Point Given, is going to be something special.

Following Perfect Story's successful 3-year-old debut, Ward said he considers Perfect Story and Storm Flag Flying, last year's champion juvenile filly, "a cut above the other 3-year-old fillies in the East."

Ward also said he is not about to change Perfect Story's style for the Davona Dale. Even if it means allowing Ivanavinalot an easy lead.

"We're just going to go out and run our race," said Ward. "And I think you're going to see these fillies really come running down the stretch. It should be a very interesting race. We've got a great bunch of fillies running in a Grade 2 for $100,000 and in 60 days you're probably going to see three or four of the same horses running in a Grade 1 for $500,000."

Yell, a stablemate of Storm Flag Flying, has won her last two starts, including a first-level allowance race here on Jan. 16 when she outgamed Bird Town by a neck.

Smokey Blue was all out to post a three-quarter-length victory to win her maiden going a mile at Santa Anita on Jan. 24 and is likely to scratch from the Davona Dale for the easier Charon.

Gold Player, a nonthreatening fifth making her two-turn debut earlier this month, rounds out the lineup.

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