BEVERLY D. STAKES| PURSE: $750,000 | GRADE: 1 | 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP | 1 3/16 MILES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Stacelita got a perfect trip from just off the pace before going on to victory as the favorite Saturday in the 22nd running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D. at Arlington Park.
Giving owner Martin Schwartz his third victory in what long has been a crucial race in the filly-mare turf division, Stacelita bided her time and saved ground behind Dubawi Heights and Never Retreat before finding an inside gap and surging to victory.
"I had an absolutely wonderful trip," said winning rider Ramon Dominguez. "I was able to sit right off the leader, nice and relaxed, comfortable fractions. Turning for home, once I found a seam on the rail, I had to go for it and she reached for it great."
Stacelita, a French-bred 5-year-old who had faced the likes of Sea the Stars, Goldikova, and Midday in her 15 previous starts, was winning for the ninth time. She returned $5.60 after finishing the 1 3/16-mile distance in 1:57.57 over a yielding turf.
Schwartz, a 66-year-old New Yorker who made a fortune in stocks and futures, previously won the Beverly D. in 2005 with Angara and in 2006 with Gorella.
"Ramon is the best," he said of the 2010 Eclipse Award-winning jockey. "And Stacelita has been a magnificent animal ever since I saw her. This was very special to win this marvelous race for the third time."
Stacelita was making her first start since being transferred into the care of Chad Brown, the 32-year-old former assistant to the late Bobby Frankel. It was only two weeks ago that Brown had his first Grade 1 winner when sending out Zagora, also owned by Schwartz, to win the Diana at Saratoga, where he is enjoying a big meet.
Schwartz and Brown said the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf will be the year-end goal for Stacelita. The Beverly D. serves as a Win and You're In event toward the Nov. 4 race at Churchill Downs.
Dubawi Heights, an 8-1 shot riding a four-race California win streak, set fractions of 24.15, 49.97, and 1:15.49 while responding to careful rating from Joel Rosario. After passing the quarter pole, she had no response to the inside move by Stacelita but dug in to hold second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner and a head before River Jetez, the 7-2 second choice.
Fantasia finished fourth, followed by Upperline, Eclaire de Lune, Never Retreat, Pachattack, Cheetah, Check the Label, and Romin Robin.
Stacelita and River Jetez both were treated with the anti-bleeder medication Lasix for the first time.
The $2 exacta (1-5) paid $57.40, the $1 trifecta (1-5-6) paid $103.30, and the 10-cent superfecta (1-5-6-3) returned $45.19.