Euro Charline makes Beverly D. title defense against a deep field
After edging Stephanie’s Kitten in an exciting finish last year, Euro Charline will make a title defense in Saturday’s $700,000 Beverly D. (G1) at Arlington. One of four major turf stakes in the International Festival of Racing, the 1 3/16-mile race has attracted a talented field of 10 distaffers.
Conditioned by Marco Botti, Euro Charline registered her first Grade/Group 1 victory when rallying from midpack to score by less than a length over the favored Stephanie’s Kitten. She headed to the sidelines shortly afterward, returning this spring with a fourth in the $6 million Dubai Turf (UAE-G1), and the 4yo filly enters the Beverly D. off a commendable runner-up finish in July 10 Falmouth (Eng-G1) at Newmarket. The 5-2 morning line favorite appears to be rounding into top form and picks up the services of Jose Lezcano.
Multiple Grade 1 scorer Stephanie’s Kitten is the 7-2 second choice, but the 6yo mare will be attempting to rebound from a pair of unplaced finishes as the favorite in the Diana (G1) and New York (G2). An earner of more than $2.7 million, the Chad Brown trainee is still capable with her best, but Stephanie’s Kitten could wind up being an underlay with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle.
Wedding Vow is one to watch her U.S. debut for Coolmore connections and trainer Aidan O’Brien. Listed at 4-1, the sophomore daughter of Galileo registered her first stakes victory with a flashy two-length score in the Kilboy Estate (Ire-G2) at The Curragh two back and exits a highly respectable second in the August 1 Nassau (Eng-G1) at Goodwood. She certainly seems to be improving and jockey Colm O’Donoghue accompanies Wedding Vow, who adds first-time Lasix.
Secret Gesture, winner of the Middleton (Eng-G2) two back at York, can’t be dismissed from consideration for trainer Ralph Beckett. The 5yo exits a solid fourth in the June 28 Pretty Polly (Ire-G1), with the runner-up coming back to capture the Nassau, and the Galileo mare has experience on U.S. soil, finishing fifth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at 6-1 odds. Jamie Spencer will be in to ride the 9-2 early fourth choice.
Irish Group 3 queen Carla Bianca brings a winning attitude into her U.S. bow, capturing five of her last seven outings for the ever-dangerous Dermot Weld, and expected longshot Lacy rounds out an excellent European team. For in-depth scouting reports (with video) on all the internationals, click on their names.
English import Mango Diva, winner of the 2014 Kilboy Estate, exits a close second in the July 11 Modesty (G3) at Arlington and will attempt to keep improving in her third U.S. start for trainer Michael Matz. Multiple Grade 3 queen Watsdachances faces a severe class test in this spot, and a pair of likely overmatched contestants – Lot o’ Lex and Maid on a Mission – complete the line-up.
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Euro Charline winning the 2014 Beverly D. photo courtesy of Four Footed Fotos