Dorth Vader A ‘Force’ In Davona Dale

Thoroughbred Daily News, Alan Carasso

 The 46-1 longest shot in a scratched-down field of eight for Saturday’s GII Davona Dale S. at Gulfstream Park, Dorth Vader (Girvin) swatted away heavily favored Red Carpet Ready (Oscar Performance) in upper stretch and comfortably held a late flourish from 28-1 Guns N’ Graces (Gun Runner) to cause a massive boilover. Red Carpet Ready just lasted to save third over Infinite Diamond (Bee Jersey).

Away in good order from an outside stall, Dorth Vader was part of the early pace battle while settled three off the inside by Miguel Vasquez as Red Carpet Ready was ridden positively to take up the running linking up with the track proper through a quarter in a lively :23.01. The homebred improved into second as Red Carpet was forced to cover the next couple of furlongs in :22.05, and by the time the leading duo had reached the top of the stretch, it was clear that Dorth Vader was going the better of the two. In front passing the three-sixteenths marker, the Florida-bred opened a daylight advantage and went on to score by open lengths as Guns N’ Graces made belated progress to complete a $1 exacta that returned better than $940.

Having graduated at second asking against Florida-breds in August, Dorth Vader was third to Atomically (Girvin) in the My Dear Girl S. Oct. 1 before running away with the restricted Juvenile Fillies’ Sprint four weeks later. Her 2 1/4-length tally in Tampa’s Sandpiper S. Dec. 3 made her the 7-5 chalk when last seen in that venue’s Gasparilla S. Jan. 14, but she tired badly to finish sixth of eight and she was friendless on the board Saturday.

“I was confident in her,” said trainer Michael Yates, tasting graded success for the first time. “I thought she would run a really big race, because of the way she had trained. I kind of drew a line through the Tampa race. That’s happened to me more than once. It rained really hard the day before and it was kind of a heavy track, so we just drew a line through it.

He continued, “We’re dreaming of it [Kentucky Oaks]. Why not? We nominated already to the [GII Gulfstream Oaks, Apr. 1]. Right now, we’re just going to enjoy today and see how she comes out of the race and move forward. We’ll talk to Mr. Ropes about it, and we’ll make a decision. She’ll help us decide.”


Pedigree Notes:

The third graded winner for Girvin, Dorth Vader is out of a half-sister to a two-time stakes winner in the Pacific Northwest who was bought back on a bid of $5,500 with this filly in utero at the 2020 OBS Winter Mixed Sale. The stakes-placed Hardcore Candy is the dam of the aptly named 2-year-old filly Theforcebewithyou (Air Force Blue) and her last listed produce is a yearling filly by Adios Charlie.

Saturday, Gulfstream

DAVONA DALE S. PRESENTED BY FANDUEL TV-GII, $200,000, Gulfstream, 3-4, 3yo, f, 1m, 1:37.23, ft.

1–DORTH VADER, 120, f, 3, by Girvin

                1st Dam: Hardcore Candy (SP, $101,308), by Yonaguska

                2nd Dam: Its a Girl, by Thunder Gulch

                3rd Dam: Ladyago, by Northern Dancer

1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. O/B-John Ropes (FL); T-Michael

Yates; J-Miguel Angel Vasquez. $120,280. Lifetime Record:

7-4-0-1, $327,508. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.

2–Guns n’ Graces, 118, f, 3, Gun Runner–Imposing Grace,


($375,000 Ylg ’21 KEESEP). O-CHP Racing; B-Coffee Pot Stable

(KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $38,800.

3–Red Carpet Ready, 120, f, 3, Oscar Performance–Wild Silk,

by Street Sense. ($180,000 Ylg ’21 FTSAUG; $100,000 RNA 2yo

’22 OBSAPR). O-Ashbrook Farm and Upland Flats Racing;

B-Lynn B. Schiff (KY); T-George R. Arnold, II. $19,400.

Margins: 4 3/4, 2 1/4, NK. Odds: 46.70, 28.70, 1.10.