Southern Sis rates top billing in Desert Vixen
Gulfstream Park features a pair of $200,000 stakes for Florida-bred juveniles on Saturday, the Dr. Fager and Desert Vixen divisions of the Florida Stallion Series. We’ll focus on the latter for fillies as probable odds-on favorite Three Rules towers over his male rivals in the Dr. Fager.
The 6-furlong Desert Vixen has attracted a contentious field of 13, including Cajun Delta Down and Perfect Kay, the first and third-place finishers from the July 2 Cassidy for trainer David Fawkes. Callie California, Evvamene, R Incredible Life, Stormy Embrace and U S Diva also merit respect after breaking their maiden last time out on the main track.
I’ll side with Southern Sis, a debut turf winner making her first attempt on dirt for Mark Casse. The bay filly is listed as the 5-1 third choice on the morning line.
After winning a pair of Breeders’ Cup races last fall, the Casse stable has enjoyed a fantastic 2016 season and been represented by a deep roster of promising 2-year-old performers. Southern Sis is certainly among them, winning at first asking as the even-money favorite in a 5-furlong turf maiden on July 17.
By Kantharos, a leading Florida juvenile sire the past two years, Southern Sis hails from the multiple stakes-placed Countess Proud, a daughter of 2002 Kentucky Derby runner-up Proud Citizen who raced exclusively on dirt. This is the female family of Television Studio, a juvenile Grade 3 on the main track.
Southern Sis is bred to make a smooth transition in surfaces and I loved the closing kick displayed last time. The precious miss was forced to negotiate her way through traffic before blowing past opponents to win going away by 2 ¼ lengths.
There appears to be plenty of speed entered in the bulky field and Southern Sis will be rolling late with jockey Luca Panici.