ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2015)–Third to eventual Eclipse Award winning juvenile filly Take Charge Brandi last out, Bob Baffert’s Maybellene heads a field of ten 3-year-old fillies going one mile in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita.
Owned by Baffert’s wife, Jill, the Kentucky-bred filly by Lookin At Lucky was a game third, beaten three quarters of a length in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Starlet on Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos, and will thus be shortening up a sixteenth of a mile on Saturday.
A perfect two for two at a flat mile, Maybelline, who is blessed with ample natural speed, is 7-2-1-2 overall with earnings of $151,300. Out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Greathearted, she will again be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.
Baffert will also be represented by Spendthrift Farm’s Callback, who comes off a second place finish to multiple stakes winner Seduire in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 3, and will be trying two turns for the first time in career start number four. A gate to wire maiden special weight winner going 5 ½ furlongs two starts back on Dec. 4, Callback should certainly be forwardly placed in the Las Virgenes.
As is often the case, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will be amply represented in yet another graded stakes, as he’ll saddle no less than five in the Las Virgenes,–headed by stakes winning Light the City.
A disappointing fifth, beaten 10 ¾ lengths as the 5-2 favorite by stablemate Seduire in the Grade II Santa Ynez Jan. 3, Light the City won the six furlong Anoakia Stakes three starts back on Oct. 12, and was a close third as the 1-5 favorite in the seven furlong Desi Arnez Stakes two back on Nov. 16.
Owned by Cheyenne Stables, LLC, Light the City, who has two wins from four starts, will also be trying a route of ground for the first time. A Kentucky-bred filly by Street Sense, she’s out of the A.P. Indy mare Light From Above and has made $106,900. Ridden by Elvis Trujillo in all four of her races, she’ll be handled for the first time by Kent Desormeaux.
Like probable favorite Maybellene, Hollendorfer’s Majestic Presence exits the Grade I Starlet on Dec. 13. Fourth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths, she may seek a stalking-type trip with Gary Stevens back aboard. 0wned by Mark DeDomenico, LLC, and North American Thoroughbred Racing Corp., she was also a close third to Take Charge Brandi two starts back in the Grade III, one mile Delta Princess Downs Stakes on Nov. 22. A gate to wire one mile maiden special weight winner on synthetic Polytrack at Del Mar Aug. 13, she is 6-1-0-2 overall with earnings of $133,000.
Hollendorfer will also send out KMN Racing, LLC’s, Lutine Belle, who comes of a sharp, come from behind tally in the one mile turf Blue Norther Stakes Jan. 1, and by lightly raced Glory, who stretches out off a 6 ½ furlong maiden special weight win on Jan. 10. Owned by Fox Hill Farms, Inc., the Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit will be making her third career start.
An even fifth, beaten 3 ¾ lengths by Take Charge Brandi in the Grade I Starlet Dec. 13, Hollendorfer’s Achiever’s Legacy defeated Maybelline two starts back in the seven furlong Desi Arnez Stakes Nov. 16 and could pose a late threat with regular rider Drayden Van Dyke up. Owned by Campbell, Cellucci, Horowitz and partners, the Kentucky-bred daughter of City Zip has two wins from six starts, including a close third in a one mile dirt allowance on Oct. 23.
Trainer John Sadler will be represented by hard-knocking Suva Harbor, who pressed the pace and went on to a three quarter length allowance win going a flat mile on Jan. 4. Owned by Gary and Cecil Barber and Wachtel Stable, the grey filly by Rockport Harbor has never been worse than second in four starts and is in search of her third consecutive win. She has earnings of $88,000.
The complete field for the Grade I Las Virgenes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Glory, Mike Smith, 117; Maybellene, Rafael Bejarano, 117; Lutine Belle, Alex Solis, 117; Achiever’s Legacy, Drayden Van Dyke, 117; Mio Me, Corey Nakatani, 118; Majestic Presence, Gary Stevens, 117; Callback, Martin Garcia, 117; Suva Harbor, Martin Pedroza, 117; Miss Mandate, Joe Talamo, 117, and Light the City, Kent Desormeaux, 117.
First post time on Saturday is a 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.