IN HER FIRST START FOR BAFFERT, MARLEY’S FREEDOM RATES BIG CHANCE FROM OUTSIDE POST
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 25, 2018)–Trainer Jeff Bonde’s brilliant California-bred Miss Sunset returns to Santa Anita on Sunday and looms a short-priced favorite versus four rivals in the Grade III, $100,000 Desert Stormer for fillies and mares three and up at six furlongs. Most recently second, beaten a nose in a Grade I stakes going seven furlongs at Keeneland on April 7, the 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief will be looking to notch her third local stakes score this year at her preferred distance of six furlongs.
Marley’s Freedom, who comes off a powerful 2 ¼ length second condition allowance victory going six furlongs here on April 20, will be making her first start for Bob Baffert and will hope to play the role of upsetter in the Desert Stormer.
Owner: Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz Trainer: Jeff Bonde
A handy gate to wire winner of a pair of state-bred sprint stakes on Feb. 25 and March 17, she ventured to Keeneland on April 7 and was beaten a nose in the Grade I, seven furlong Madison Stakes April 7 under Julien Leparoux at odds of 7-1. With Leparoux shipping west to ride on Saturday, Miss Sunset will likely have to deal with Marley’s Freedom from the outset, as “Marley” is drawn to her immediate outside. Unbeaten in three tries at six furlongs, Miss Sunset, who is out of the Trippi mare, Tuscan Sunset, is in search of her 10th win from 17 career starts. With a bankroll of $798,735, she is easily the leading money earner in the field.
Owner: Cicero Farms, LLC Trainer: Bob Baffert
Originally trained by Richard Baltas, this 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Blame subsequently won three out of her next seven starts for Bob Hess, Jr., including a rousing 2 ¼ length allowance score going six furlongs on April 20. Second, beaten 4 ½ lengths two starts back by the highly regarded Selcourt in the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Monica Stakes March 24, Marley’s Freedom has earned a Beyer Speed figure of 96 in her last two starts and is obviously in top form heading into Sunday. With a cozy outside draw, she has two wins from five starts at six furlongs and is 9-3-2-0 overall with earnings of $173,435.
THE GRADE III DESERT STORMER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
- Cuyathy–Edwin Maldonado–121
- Classy Tune–Tyler Baze–121
- Yuvetsi–Victor Espinoza–121
- Miss Sunset–Julien Leparoux–123
- Marley’s Freedom–Drayden Van Dyke–121
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. For additional racing information, please visit santaanita.com.