Ballet Diva dances her way into the spotlight

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Jen Caldwell

July 5th, 2015

I always loved the juveniles racing at Calder over the summer. There was just something about those babies that caught my attention. I’d pick a couple of favorites – Jackson Bend, Awesome Feather, etc. – and follow them throughout the rest of their careers.

That seemed to come to an end last year when Calder and Gulfstream entered into a deal whereas all the interesting races, like the Florida Stallion Stakes and Summit of Speed, were transferred to the latter track.

In 2014, the zest, zing and style that the two-year-olds demonstrated at Calder just wasn’t on display in Hallandale Beach. They seemed lackluster and about what one would expect from lower-level, state-bred style runners instead of legitimate stakes competitors.

I feared my attentions would have to turn elsewhere to pick up on burgeoning, possibly under-the-radar stars.

On Sunday, a filly named Ballet Diva (Hear No Evil) lived up to her name with a graceful, effortless win in the Cassidy S. on the Summit of Speed program and my attention was once again riveted upon the Florida juvenile scene.

Jockey Jose Caraballo looked back numerous times as Ballet Diva led the way up front, but at no point was the chestnut miss threatened, challenged or even forced to take a deep breath.

Despite the ease with which she won, the filly still showed plenty of speed. Enough to outrun her male counterparts one race earlier by more than a second.

Ballet Diva made the entire Summit of Speed program, in my humble opinion. After breaking her maiden by 12 lengths and recording a 4 1/2-length victory in the Cassidy, bigger and better things are on her horizon.

The only question now is where Ballet Diva will show up next. The Florida Stallion Stakes (renamed Florida Sire Stakes) is the logical choice and she could easily follow in the hoofsteps of other Stanley Gold trainees by sweeping the Desert Vixen, Susan’s Girl and My Dear Girl divisions.

Or will her connections dream big and maybe think Saratoga?

That latter statement is just wishful thinking on my part. Ballet Diva is a Jacks or Better Farm homebred and they stay focused on the Florida scene for the most part.

If she continues to dominate as she did on Sunday, it is feasible a trip to the Breeders’ Cup could be in the filly’s future, though.

None of that matters at this point. Wherever she goes next, I’ve just found my newest young star to follow.

Photo: Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography