Bigger than your average filly, with a coat that reminds one of fire, and lightning fast speed, Christine Daae is hard to miss. After a dazzling performance in a maiden special weight, at Gulfstream Park, where she stalked a blistering pace before easily putting away her rivals, she began to spark talk about, possibly, becoming this years version of Rachel Alexandra.
Speed is a golden attribute to possess if one is to run at Gulfstream Park, and Christine Daae has that in abundance. She stalked a very hot pace that saw six furlong split of 1.09 and change before advancing three wide to take over the lead and draw away to an impressive 1.21.67, for the seven furlong test. Her fast time and ability to keep going after such a hot pace could be contributed to the fact that Gulfstream is a very speed bias track, that normally produces quick times. However, it is my belief that when a horse is able to not only sustain that speed, but increase it to the point of drawing away from the competition without even breaking a sweat, that they are something special. That belief will be put to the test this Saturday in the Davona Dale.
In the Davona Dale, Christine Daae, will face a serious acid test. Forward Gal winner Bickersons, Sassy Image, and Amen Hallelujah. Before the Forward Gal Bickersons was just an OK filly on synthetics, but in the Forward Gal, her return to a dirt track, Bickersons ran away from the field in a scintillating performance, that displayed her affinity for not only dirt, but sprints as well. The mile distance is one furlong longer than the Forward Gal, but the sprinting of Silver Deputy should be fine with anything that is a mile or under. In the Forward Gal, the fractions that were posted, all strongly resemble what was run in Christine Daae's maiden. However the final time, was 1.22.35, .32 seconds slower than the time that Christine Daae set.
Amen Hallelujah has proven her class by never running an out of the money performance, except for when she ran fifth in her first maiden try. Ever since then she has hit the board every time. Her latest win, and her first stakes victory, came in the Santa Ynez, when digging in gamely to hold off Franny Freud. Her final time went in 1.21.39. The main knock against this filly is that she will be making her dirt debut in the Davona Dale, with her last win coming over Pro-Ride, the synthetic that most resembles turf. If Amen Hallelujah can transfer her synthetic form to the dirt, like Southwest winner Conveyance did last weekend, then she should definitely be one to watch.
Sassy Image, however, will probably lead the cast going into the race. Sassy Image comes into this race riding a three race winning streak, all three races stakes, two graded stakes. Sassy Image has already proven her ability at two turns, when she won the Golden Rod at 8.5 furlongs. The ever so consistent filly also owns a win at mile distance, that win coming in the Pocahontas. Her last win was a run away victory in the off the turf, Sweetest Chant Stakes. Her final times may not be all that hot, but she was not running over the Gulfstream freeway either. If she brings the same class she has displayed in all three of her latest wins, she will be tough to deny.
So, it looks like our impressive maiden winner has her work cut out for her this coming weekend. The question is if she is truly talented enough to take down these other classy fillies with the same easy she disposed of her maiden rivals. So, can she do it? Or is she just another nice looking maiden? I'll leave that answer up to Christine Daae.