INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 30, 2011)—Dubawi Heights transitioned successfully into graded stakes company, winning the $100,000 Wilshire Handicap Saturday at Hollywood Park.
The victory was the third in a row for the 4-year-old daughter of Dubawi and the Suave Dancer mare Rosie’s Posy.
Trained by Simon Callaghan for a partnership that includes his father Neville, Clodagh McStay, M.V. Magnier and Annabel Wyatt, Dubawi Heights has blossomed in recent months after beginning her career 0-for-8.
Defeated six times in her native England – including two appearances in Group II events – Dubawi Heights lost at 13-10 and 5-2 in her first two races in the United States, ending the streak with a victory against maidens last Nov. 28 during Hollywood Park’s Autumn meet.
Beset by various health issues, Dubawi Heights returned from a layoff of more than four months with a victory against only three opponents in a turf allowance April 1 at Santa Anita.
Never too far off the slow pace (24.73, 49.16 and 1:12.80 for six furlongs) set by longshots Burg Berg and Miss Pleasant, Dubawi Heights joined the leaders around the turn, then asserted her superiority in the closing yards under jockey Joel Rosario.
In winning by 1 ½ lengths, the 7-2 second choice in the field of nine completed the mile on turf 1:35.21. She paid $9, $5.20 and $3.80. Her third win in 11 starts pushed her earnings to $505,196.
“I was just following the horse in front of me,’’ said Rosario. “She took me to the right place and was doing it comfortably.
“She took me to the right place and was doing it comfortably. They weren’t going that quickly up front. She’s getting better every race. Actually I was surprised because she can finish better now. She made a little move at the quarter pole and really found her stride in the stretch.’’
Callaghan, who won both the Redondo Beach Stakes and Beverly Hills Handicap with Turning Top during the 2010 Spring/Summer meet, has much admiration for Dubawi Heights.
“It’s been quite a long road with this filly,’’ he said. “Since she came here, she had colic off the plane, she had a tibia injury and she had to have knee surgery. This filly is unbelievably tough.’’
Callaghan indicated Dubawi Heights could make her Grade I debut in the $250,000 Gamely Stakes May 30.
Seeking her first victory since she won the Osunitas last July 24 at Del Mar, Lilly Fa Pootz had to settle for second at 4-1. She finished a nose in front of Miss Pleasant, the longest shot in the Wilshire at 49-1.
First or second in four of six on the Hollywood Park turf, Lilly Fa Pootz paid $4.80 and $3.60. The show price on Miss Pleasant was $14.60.
Making her first appearance in 11 months, Well Monied was fourth as the 5-2 favorite. She finished a nose behind Miss Pleasant, then came Burg Berg, Talktoomuch, Vamo a Galupiar, Blue Maiden and Smart Striking. Saanneen, who is entered in Sunday’s seventh race, and Givine were scratched.
Racing resumes Sunday. Post time is 1 p.m.
The feature on the nine race program is the inaugural running of the $70,000-added Time To Leave Stakes.
Seven older fillies and mares are scheduled to compete in the ungraded race at five furlongs over Cushion Track.
Fresh off an upset of Unzip Me in the Las Cienegas earlier in the month at Santa Anita, Separate Forest is the 2-1 favorite on Russ Hudak’s morning line as she makes her synthetic surface debut.
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