DEEP AND COMPETITIVE FIELD OF 12 SOPHOMORE FILLIES SET TO GO
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2018)–In perhaps the best betting race of the weekend, a field of 12 sophomore fillies has been engaged to compete in Sunday’s $75,000 Sweet Life Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
With no clear cut standout, French-bred Finess Bere could be poised to spring a surprise for Bob Baffert, as she exits a better than looked effort in her U.S. debut–a fourth place finish in the one mile turf Blue Norther Stakes here Dec. 31.
Along with Finess Bere, Peter Miller’s War Heroine, who showed speed to better in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 7, looks like the quickest horse early as she tries turf for the first time in what will be her third career start. A close second in her Santa Anita debut down the hill Jan. 19, English-bred Out of The Flames was Group II stakes placed in England last June and will look to turn the tables on Ms Bad Behavior, who bested her by a neck in a hillside turf allowance on Jan. 19.
Owner: Bradley Thoroughbred, LLC, Madaket Stables, LLC and Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc. Trainer: Bob Baffert
Away slowly and reserved off the early pace in the 11-horse Blue Norther, Finess Bere ended up a very respectable fourth, beaten 4 ¾ lengths by highly regarded Ippodamia’s Girl in what was also her U.S. debut. Unbeaten in a pair of mile turf races last summer in France, Finess Bere, under Baffert’s tutelage, could improve by many lengths on Sunday as she cuts back in distance and traverses a much more European-styled racecourse. Drayden Van Dyke retains the call and a check of the tote board would be well advised.
Owner: Gary Barber Trainer: Peter Miller
An overwhelming 6 ¾ length first-out maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on dirt at Del Mar Nov. 12, she was off at 4-1 in the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 7, but finished a well beaten sixth after going head and head for the lead through quick early splits. Bred in Kentucky and by the Australian-bred stallion Lonhro, she’s out of the War Chant mare War Tigress. She’ll be ridden for the first time by Tyler Baze and appears to be the speed of the race in what will be her first time on grass.
OUT OF THE FLAMES
Owner: Qatar Racing, Ltd. Trainer: Simon Callaghan
Well seasoned, she was 6-1-0-3 as a 2-year-old in England prior to making her stateside debut going five furlongs at Del Mar in the Juvenile Turf Sprint versus males on Nov. 4, a race in which she closed much ground to be third, beaten a half length. Crowed while between horses through the stretch drive, she was subsequently second, beaten a neck by Ms Bad Behavior as the even money favorite in a first condition allowance down the hillside Jan. 19. With a better trip, Out of The Flames could be poised to run a smasher under regular rider Flavien Prat, who appears to have taken off of Miller’s War Heroine to stick with this Callaghan trainee.
MS BAD BEHAVIOR
Owner: Sayjay Racing, LLC and Greg Hall Trainer: Richard Baltas
Under aggressive handling from Tiago Pereira, she kept favored Out of The Flames in very tight quarters transitioning from the dirt crossing to turf and kept her in tight through the drive while prevailing by a neck in a first condition allowance down the hill Jan. 19. An Ontario-Canadian-bred daughter of Blame, she came out of the win to post a bullet half mile at Del Mar of 48.20 on Feb. 3, the best of 22 moves at the distance. With Pereira riding back, she’ll need to improve off her turf debut to win The Sweet Life, which will be her sixth career start.
THE $75,000 SWEET LIFE STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 9 of 9 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT
- Out of The Flames–Flavien Prat–120
- My Masterpiece–Samy Camacho–120
- Mraseel–Alonso Quinonez–122
- War Heroine–Tyler Baze–120
- Finess Bere–Drayden Van Dyke–122
- Theodosia–Martin Pedroza–122
- Treasuring–Rajiv Maragh–124
- Ms Bad Behavior–Tiago Pereira–122
- Holy Diver–Cesar Franco–120
- Ismelucky–Evin Roman–124
- Miss Puddles–Mario Gutierrez–120
- Atrevida–Brice Blanc–120
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.