Stakes Preview - Dixie Belle

Compiled by Robert Yates

Tanya Showers (#7) and Sharp Tune (#3) are scheduled to meet again in Oaklawn’s six-furlong $150,000 Dixie Belle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Saturday.

Probable post time for the Dixie Belle, which drew a field of eight, is 4:50 p.m., CST. First post is 12:30 p.m., with the Dixie Belle the ninth of 10 races.

Other Dixie Belle entrants are Pinotslilgirl (#1), Julien Leparoux to ride, 115 pounds, 20-1 on the morning line; Xtreme Smoke Show (#2), Francisco Arrieta, 119, 10-1; Happy N Smiling (#4), Ramon Vazquez, 115, 20-1; Blue Squall (#6), Emmanuel Esquivel, 115, 9-2, and Xtreme Diva (#8), Eduardo Gallardo, 122, 3-1.

Program favorite Ghalia Princess (#5) is not on the grounds and is scheduled to run in the seven-furlong $100,000 Ruthless Stakes Saturday at Aqueduct, according to Jorgito Abrego, who oversees trainer Brad Cox’s Oaklawn division.

Tanya Showers (#7) and Sharp Tune (#3) finished second and third, respectively, in the six-furlong $150,000 Mockingbird Stakes Jan. 13.

Tanya Showers (#7) finished a half-length behind unbeaten Midshipman’s Dance. She was making her stakes debut for 2015 Oaklawn training champion Chris Hartman after needing four starts to break her maiden.

“She could have won last time, I thought,” Hartman said. “She got a little bit wide and the other one came up the rail. Hopefully, we can get the ‘W.’ She’s got to get over the hump. Took her a minute to get to the maiden victory. She’s getting better.”

The speedy Sharp Tune (#3) is trying to give Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen his record-extending 110th career Oaklawn stakes victory and sixth this season. Sharp Tune was beaten 2 ½ lengths by Midshipman’s Dance after leading through rapid early fractions of :21.61 for a quarter and :45.32 for a half-mile.

“She’s fast,” Asmussen said. “She needs the racetrack to play to her strengths and go from there.”

Trainer Mac Robertson is scheduled to start Xtreme Diva (#8) and Xtreme Smoke Show (#2) for Minnesota owners Mike and Vicki McGowan (Xtreme Racing Stables, LLC).

Xtreme Diva (#8) exits a three-quarter length victory in a $140,000 allowance sprint for 3-year-old fillies Feb. 2 at Oaklawn. Xtreme Smoke Show (#2) finished fifth in the Mockingbird.

Both Randy Morse trainee Blue Squall (#6) and Happy N Smiling (#4), trained by John Ortiz, are coming off Oaklawn maiden allowance sprint victories Jan. 26.