A diverse field of 11 filly and mare turf stars will tee it up in the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes going 1 3/16 miles over the Arlington International Racecourse green Aug. 16 as part of the track's International Festival of Racing.
The field includes six Grade/Group 1 winners, three internationally bred stars, and a host of local hopefuls mixed into a spicy stew of intrigue. The race is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, with the winner landing an expense-paid berth in the starting gate for the BC Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park.
The depth of the field is indicated by lukewarm 7-2 morning-line favoritism bestowed on Ken andSarah Ramsey's 5-year-old Stephanie's Kitten. The Chad Brown trainee sports the most impressive bankroll of the bunch with $1.7 million in earnings, but hasn't visited the winner's circle since last year's Longines Just A Game Stakes at Belmont Park.
BEVERLY D. STAKES DRAW
The winner of the 2011 Darley Alcibiades and that year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Stephanie's Kitten was most recently second, beaten a neck by Beverly D. rival Somali Lemonade in the Diana Stakes.
Four-time graded stakes winner Somali Lemonade has won three of her past four starts following a freshening and should be forwardly placed from the far outside post. Somali Lemonade won the Gallorette Stakes at Pimlico in May and is a little more than $50,000 shy of becoming a millionaire.
Alterite, third in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, is a French-bred 4-year-old who won the 2013 Garden City Stakes, but her first start of this season was a disappointing eighth in the Diana. Her owner, Martin Schwartz, has won the Beverly D. with Angara (2005), Gorella (2006), and Stacelita (2011).
Emollient is another who will be looking to round into form. The 4-year-old is winless in four starts this year, including a ninth in the Diana after a rough trip. She was nosed out in the Gamely Stakes and hopes to return to the form that saw her win three grade I events last year. She has banked better than $1.1 million.
Tannery also finished up the track in the Diana after starting the season with a victory in the Miss Liberty Stakes at Monmouth Park. She took last year's E. P. Taylor Stakes at 10 furlongs at Woodbine over yielding ground.
I'm Already Sexy is obviously a horse for the Arlington course. Her six lifetime victories include the Modesty Handicap in her last outing at Arlington as well as the 2013 Pucker Up Stakes and last year's Hatoof Stakes, the last two by daylight. Third-place Modesty finisher Street of Gold also takes another crack at graded stakes glory here, but needs to improve on a record that shows three wins from 21 starts.
La Tia won the Ontario Matron by 6 ¼ lengths in her most recent start, but is also proven at Arlington, where she took the Arlington Matron in May and the 2012 Arlington Oaks.
The international contingent is led by Just The Judge, a classic winner last year at 3 in her native Ireland going a mile. She has placed in a couple of group outings this season going long.
Euro Charline stretches out after winning a stakes at Ascot last out at a flat mile. She was third in the Coronation Stakes two races back at a mile.
Rounding out the field is Sparkling Beam, a group III winner in France last year and second in a stakes there in July going 10 furlongs. Sparkling Beam will be making her first U.S. start.