Undefeated Ghalia, G1 Winner Pretty City Dancer Headline Eight Belles Stakes

Sweet Loretta (inside) and jockey Javier Castellano and Pretty City Dancer (gray, outside) and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. dead-heat to win the Spinaway (Gr I)

Sumaya U.S. Stable’s undefeated Ghalia, winner of the Sunland Park Oaks on March 26 in her most recent start, headlines a field of 14 fillies entered for the Eight Belles.

The Eight Belles will go as the afternoon’s eighth race with a 2:53 p.m. post time.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Ghalia won her first two starts at Gulfstream Park before making a successful stakes debut at Sunland Park. John Velazquez has the mount on Ghalia, who will break from post position 10.

Two Grade I winners, Pretty City Dancer and Union Strike, will challenge Ghalia.

John Oxley’s Pretty City Dancer dead-heated for the win in the Spinaway last September at Saratoga. In her most recent start, she finished sixth in the Ashland (GI) at Keeneland.

Trained by Mark Casse, Pretty City Dancer will break from post position four and be ridden by Julien Leparoux.

Ruis Racing’s Union Strike, winner of the Del Mar Debutante last September, enters the Eight Belles off a victory in the Santa Paula at Santa Anita on April 9. Trained by Mick Ruis, Union Strike will be ridden by Brice Blanc and break from post position two.

The field for the Eight Belles, from the rail out with rider and weight, is: Benner Island (Javier Castellano, 118 pounds), Union Strike (Blanc, 118), Lovely Bernadette (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Pretty City Dancer (Leparoux, 118), Gris Gris (Mike Smith, 118), Laney (Corey Lanerie, 118), Golden Mischief (Jose Ortiz, 120), I’mluckysgirl (Miguel Mena, 118), Florida Fabulous (Paco Lopez, 118), Ghalia (Velazquez, 120), Let It Ride Mom (Joel Rosario, 118), China Grove (James Graham, 118), What What What (Flavien Prat, 118) and Cajun Delta Dawn (Juan Leyva, 118).

Racing – Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

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