04/22/2013 2:44PM

Will Rogers Downs: Givhans Ferry will show speed in Wilma Mankiller Stakes

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Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Storm's Promise (right) finishes second in the Happy Ticket at Fair Grounds on March 16.

Givhans Ferry’s natural speed could put her in an ideal position to win the first stakes race of her career Wednesday in the $50,000 Wilma Mankiller Memorial at Will Rogers Downs near Tulsa, Okla. She’s a candidate to control the pace in the six-furlong race for fillies and mares or track Storm’s Promise, a turf-to-dirt prospect situated to her inside. Givhans Ferry, who will break from post 6 in the field of seven, will be the first Will Rogers starter for trainer Steve Margolis.

“She’s usually on or close to the lead,” Margolis said. “It looks like when she’s right there fighting with them she seems to run her best race.”

Givhans Ferry used front-running tactics in her last start, when she won a $40,000 optional-claiming sprint at Fair Grounds on March 31. She won by 2 1/4 lengths and earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 88, which is the best last-race dirt number in the Wilma Mankiller.

“She broke real sharp, made the pace, and kind of widened at the end,” Margolis said. “It was an impressive race. Of course, we’re stepping into a little tougher competition, but we’re coming off a good win and it’s a great time to take a shot with this.”

Givhans Ferry was shipped from Churchill Downs to Will Rogers last week in order to give her time to get acclimated locally and gallop regularly over the track, Margolis said. Belen Quinonez has the mount on the filly, a 4-year-old daughter of Congaree who is a half-sister to 2008 Iowa Derby winner Tiz Now Tiz Then.

Givhans Ferry races for Tulsa resident Clark Brewster.

Storm’s Promise missed by a nose in the $75,000 Happy Ticket at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Fair Grounds in her last start March 16. She set the pace and was edged while earning a career-high Beyer of 92. The Wilma Mankiller will be her first start on dirt since last September, when she was fourth in a $40,000 optional claimer at Remington Park. Overall, Storm’s Promise is a five-time winner on dirt. Bryan McNeil has the mount for trainer Karl Broberg.