Brain Hernandez Jr. guides Dalika to victory in the G3 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf
German-bred Dalika rolled to a wire-to-wire win Saturday in the $1-million Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (G3), holding off the game rally of runner-up Princess Grace, a familiar rival, by a neck.
Dalika’s victory reverses last year’s close finish in the race when she was second, a half length behind Princess Grace.
Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. for trainer Al Stall Jr. in this year’s edition, Dalika powered to the lead soon after the start this year while Princess Grace tracked from second. The pair was ready to run at the top of the stretch and battled toward the finish line, but Princess Grace could not overtake Dalika, who completed the one-mile event in 1:33.53 on turf rated as firm.
Market Rumor was third, 1 1/2 lengths behind even-money favorite Princess Grace.
Bal Mar Equine’s Dalika, who returned $7.08, came into the race having won the Beverly D. (G1) August 13 at Churchill Downs. The 6-year-old by Pastorius out of Drawn to Run, by Hurricane Run, improved her career line to 9-7-0 from 29 starts.
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