Nine of the eleven are making their first start of the year on the grass, including the 9-5 favorite Daveron. Graham Motion trains the German-bred, who won two races in New York last year. The 6-year-old mare came into the Motion barn in late summer and won Belmont Park’s 1-1/4 mile Scoot Stakes, followed by a runner-up finish in the mile and one half Grade III Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct. Eddie Castro was aboard both times and retains the mount.
Mike Trombetta will saddle two runners in the Dahlia, Ansong (9-2) and Baltimore Belle (8-1).
Ansong spent the winter in Florida, where she was claimed by Trombetta for $100,000. Trombetta started the Mizzen Mast offspring once where she finished 11th in Gulfstream Park’s Grade III Honey Fox Stakes at odds of 90-1. Jeremy Rose will ride.
Baltimore Belle became a stakes winner when she captured the Maryland Million Oaks in October while in the barn of J.B. Secor. The daughter of Bowman’s Band was purchased by Larry Johnson for $130,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed Sale at Timonium and sent to Trombetta. She finished fourth for her new conditioner in both the Nellie Morse and Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park. Julian Pimentel has the mount for the third straight race.
Trainer Randy Allen will get his first look at Exquisite (6-1) in race action after picking her up from Ronny Werner’s barn. The Irish-bred mare raced in California last year and wintered at Fair Grounds this year, where she made two starts. Abel Castellano has picked up the mount.
Love’s Blush (8-1) tried the turf twice a year ago, including a second place finish in the Maryland Million Ladies. The daughter of Not For Love has not started since November for trainer Rodney Jenkins, who will give a leg up to jockey Eric Camacho.
Theda’s Smile (10-1) has not seen action since last September for trainer Kevin Boniface. She won two grass races at Pimlico last spring. Forrest Boyce will be aboard the daughter of Ops Smile, who has finished on the board in 20 of 33 turf tries.
Sea Wind (12-1), Tripped (12-1) and Volare Cantare (15-1) Weeper (20-1) and Trez (30-1) complete the field.