ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 22, 2014)–Trainer Eric Kruljac’s Blingismything, an impressive winner of her last two starts, and Aguafria, Diversy Harbor and recent Grade III winner Three Hearts head a deep and competitive field of 12 fillies and mares in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Arch, Blingismything returned from a 15-month layoff to win a 6 ½ furlong turf allowance at Santa Anita on Oct. 31 and she stretched out to win a second condition allowance in game fashion going 1 1/16 miles on grass Nov. 27 at Del Mar. Owned by Class Racing Stable, she’ll be trying stakes competition for the first time but retains the services of Joe Talamo, who took off Three Hearts to stay with Blingismything on Saturday.
Here’s a look at some of the other Frankel competition:
Aguafria–Trained by Neil Drysdale, she finished well from far back to finish third, beaten 1 ½ lengths, by Blingismything on Nov. 27. Seemingly best suited as a deep closer, she began her career in France and will be making her fourth stateside start in the Frankel. She’ll be handled for the first time by Kieren Fallon.
Diversy Harbor–Trained by Tom Proctor, she’s the lone 3-year-old filly in the lineup. She showed considerable promise earlier this year when winning the China Doll Stakes in her second start and she went on to be stakes placed in three consecutive graded turf events; the Grade III Providencia, the Grade II Honeymoon and the Grade I American Oaks. She was second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in her most recent start, the Grade III, one mile turf Autumn Miss Stakes, on Oct. 25. She’ll be ridden by Gary Stevens, who was aboard for her first three races–winning two of them.
Three Hearts–Owned and bred by Team Valor International, her first start for Drysdale resulted in victory going 1 3/8 miles on turf in Del Mar’s Grade III Red Carpet Handicap Nov. 22–a race from which six of the Frankel entrants exit. Unlike her stablemate, Aguafria, she is best suited when near the early pace. A 4-year-old filly by the Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick, Three Hearts has a win, a second and a third place finish from four tries at a mile and one eighth on turf.
Kathleen Rose–A hard knocking California-bred filly by Good Journey, this Mike Machowsky trainee likes to rock and roll on the front end. Second in a seven furlong classified allowance at Del Mar on Nov. 28, she finished second, beaten a neck in her only graded stakes attempt–the Grade II, one mile turf Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita June 28.
Lady Pimpernel–Trained by Carla Gaines, this 4-year-old English bred filly finished third, beaten three quarters of a length, in the Red Carpet at Del Mar, which was her U.S. debut. Dispatched at 7-2 in a field of 11, she encountered trouble from off the pace around the final turn and could improve with Victor Espinoza set to ride her back.
Lady of Gold & Rusty Slipper–Both of these fillies are conditioned by Graham Motion and both rate solid chances in the Frankel. Lady of Gold comes off of two consecutive second place finishes in Grade III stakes, the most recent in the Red Carpet Handicap on Nov. 22. Rusty Slipper finished 10th in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (1 ¼ miles) in her most recent, but won the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Violet Stakes three starts back at Monmouth Park on Aug. 23.
Winning Rhythm–A close fifth in the Red Carpet at Del Mar, this Stronach Stables homebred filly by Giant’s Causeway had won two in-a-row going into the Red Carpet and has a second and a third from two starts at the Frankel distance. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, she’s reunited with Mike Smith, who was up for both of her recent wins.
The field for the Grade III Robert J. Frankel, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Bee Brave, Rafael Bejarano, 119; Three Hearts, Tyler Baze, 124; Lady Pimpernel, Victor Espinoza, 119; Diversy Harbor, Gary Stevens, 117; Lady of Gold, Kent Desormeaux, 119; Scooter Bird, Corey Nakatani, 119; Blingismything, Joe Talamo, 119; Kathleen Rose, Edwin Maldonado, 119; Floral Romance, Brice Blanc, 119; Winning Rhythm, Mike Smith, 119; Rusty Slipper, Aaron Gryder, 124, and Aguafria, Kieren Fallon, 119.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.