Dalika Shows Heart For Beverly D. Win At Churchill, Earns BC Filly And Mare Turf Berth - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Dalika Shows Heart For Beverly D. Win At Churchill, Earns BC Filly And Mare Turf Berth

Dalika wins the G1 Beverly D., run on the Churchill Downs turf course for the first time this year

German-bred Dalika set the early pace then battled back gamely when runner-up Princess Grass got her head in front briefly in early stretch to win the $500,000 Beverly D. Stakes (G1) by a half-length Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The race was staged at the Louisville track for the first time along with the $1-million Arlington Million (G1), won by Godolphin homebred Santin. Previously, the two events were run at Churchill-owned Arlington Park near Chicago until that track was shuttered in 2021.

Tracked by Princess Grace for most of the trip, Dalika, under Brian Hernandez Jr., finished the 1 1/8 miles in 1:45.31 on turf rated as good and earned her first win at the top level as well as an automatic entry into the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Keeneland, to be run at 1 3/16 miles November 5. Trainer Al Stall Jr. said Dalika is not Breeders' Cup nominated.

“We'll have to figure what's next” he said. “We're thrilled to get this win today.”

Dalika broke alertly from the rail and led the compact field of five fillies and mares through fractions of :23.14, :46.44, and 1:10.13 for six furlongs with Princess Grace stalking in second.

Around the final turn, Princess Grace drew even with Dalika and poked her head in front at the top of the stretch, but Dalika was resolute on the rail and came back with determination inside the final sixteenth.

“I really have to thank trainer Tom Drury who helps us out with this horse at Skylight (Training Center),” Stall said. “She's a little bit tough to train so we've been keeping her out there where it's pretty quiet. She was pretty comfortable on this course. Things played out exactly how we thought it would. We figured (Princess Grace) would be next to us and she ran a really game race, too.”

It was another two lengths back to third-place finisher Family Way, who was followed by Irish invader Lily Pond and 8-5 favorite Rougir, who was never a factor.

“She's a pretty funny horse so the less you can do with her the better,” Hernandez said of Dalika. “We let her have things her own way on the front end and I didn't want to try and fight her at all. In the stretch, (Princess Grace) came up alongside her but she was really game. She dug back in and turned her back. She ran a huge race and showed a lot of heart.”

Owned by Bal Mar Equine, Dalika was Grade 3 winner prior to Saturday's race, she finished fifth in the Diana (G1) July 16 at Saratoga after posting a second in the Mint Julep (G3) at Churchill in early June in her only other starts this year.

A 6-year-old daughter of Pastorius out of the Hurricane Run mare Drawn to Run, Dalika has 8-7-0 record, including her victory in the 2021 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (G3) at Delaware Park, from 28 career starts.

Dalika, who was bred by Gestut Ammerland, returned $17.02. Twenty of the last 21 Beverly D. winners have been bred outside the United States.

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