Hialeah, FL / November 29, 2013 – The seven-year-old mare Doyles Dashing Star, the oldest runner and one of two distaffers in a nine horse field, broke sharply, ran strongly, and held sway late to win Hialeah Park’s opening day feature, the 5th running of the Orange Blossom Stakes at 550 yards.
Breaking from the inside post position, Doyles Dashing Star battled early with Lethal Volt as that pair took command up Hialeah Park’s historic Widener Chute. In the run to the finish line, Doyles Dashing Star stayed strong as she avoided a late challenge from Joltin Jess to score by a neck. Off at 6-1, she rewarded her backers with a $14.60 win mutuel. She recorded a time of 26.666 seconds –with a 17 MPH tailwind– for 550 yards.
Campaigned by Rachael L. Stephens (Lessee), trained by Gene Stephens, and ridden to victory by Omar Reyes, Doyles Dashing Star recorded her 12th lifetime win in her 43rd career start and won for the 5th time in 16 outings over the Hialeah Park surface. She earned the winner’s share of $32,500 to up her career earnings to $180,658.
“She broke well and she ran well all the way,” said Reyes, who was up for the mare’s win here last February in the Moonstone Stakes at 660 yards. “The break was the key,” he added.
The unofficial order of finish in the race was 1-6-2-4, but after a long stewards’ inquiry and two jockey claims of foul, the original 2nd place finisher Joltin Jess (#6) was disqualified for interference and placed last (9th).
From top to bottom, the official order of finish was: #1 Doyles Dashing Star, #2 Lethal Volt, #9 Feature My News, #10 Jets Quick Fortune, #8 Sheila Tequila, #5 Lil Shorta Cash, #3 The Granite Jewel, #7 Cjs Ahead Of The Game, and #6 Joltin Jess. #4 Legendary Express was a morning scratch.
Doyles Dashing Star, by Heza Fast Dash out of the Groovy mare Georgia Wildcat, has enjoyed a stellar campaign in 2013, winning 5 of 10 starts and finishing 2nd in two other races.
Her latest victory moves her straight to the head of the class in the new Hialeah Marathon Series, which includes the Orange Blossom, the Crystal River Stakes (550 yards) on December 15, the Moonstone Stakes (660 yards) on January 5, 2014, the Key West Stakes (1000 yards) on January 26, and the Sailfish Stakes (1000 yards) on closing day February 23.
JOHN HERNANDEZ / RACING NEWS & PUBLICITY