01/03/2011 3:44PM

Wealth of talent among 3-year-old fillies begins with Awesome Feather

Tom Keyser
Awesome Feather, sold for $3.3 million shortly after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, will prep in Florida for her first major objective, the Kentucky Oaks in early May.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – As strong and deep as the South Florida contingent of 3-year-old colts is this year, their filly counterparts are right there with them.

Not only are the first four finishers in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Awesome Feather, R Heat Lightning, Delightful Mary, Believe in A.P. – being readied for campaigns in south Florida this winter, but several other accomplished fillies, most notably Dancinginherdreams and Kathmanblu, also are here.

Awesome Feather, the likely divisional champion, is at the Palm Meadows training center with her new trainer, Chad Brown, after being purchased at auction by Frank Stronach shortly after extending her unbeaten record to six races in the Breeders’ Cup.

“She’s still getting a little break,” said Brown. “I’m not sure where she’ll run next, but I’m sure it’ll be with the [May 6] Kentucky Oaks in mind.”

Awesome Feather had been based at Calder with trainer Stanley Gold before she ended her season with her 2 1/4-length BC victory at Churchill Downs. She was sold several days later for $2.3 million at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky.

The main races this winter in the 3-year-old filly division at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach are the Jan. 30 Forward Gal, the Feb. 26 Davona Dale, and the April 2 Gulfstream Oaks (formerly the Bonnie Miss). A victory in all three of those races plus the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 20 would earn the winning connections a $2.2 million bonus.

R Heat Lightning is at Palm Meadows with Todd Pletcher, who said she likely will return in the seven-furlong Forward Gal.

Dancing Mary, trained by Mark Casse, currently is in Ocala but will soon resume training at Palm Meadows toward the Kentucky Oaks.

Believe in A.P., still eligible for a first-level allowance, breezed six furlongs Dec. 30 at Gulfstream for Rick Dutrow.

Dancinginherdreams, who looked sensational in opening her career with two wins in Kentucky, may return in the Davona Dale, said trainer John T. Ward Jr., who 10 years ago began a successful Kentucky Derby hunt in south Florida with Monarchos.

Kathmanblu, who had her first workout Friday at Gulfstream since she won the Golden Rod at Churchill by 8 1/2 lengths, “is a pretty special filly,” said trainer Ken McPeek. “We might go to the Silverbulletday at the Fair Grounds,” he said, referring to a 1 1/16-mile race on Feb. 7, “because I don’t want to go back to one turn or the turf with her. But we haven’t made any firm decisions.”

As with the boys, there will be a slew of opportunities for fillies to become divisional players in the maiden and allowance ranks throughout the Gulfstream meet.