NEW YORK INVADER ZINDAYA AMONG SEVERAL WHO FIGURE TO ENSURE FAST PACE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2014)–A winner versus males of Canada’s prestigious $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes July 6, trainer Mark Casse’s Lexie Lou looms large in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita. In what shapes up as one of the best betting races of the current meeting, the Autumn Miss has attracted a wide-open field of 10 sophomore fillies at one mile on turf.
A four-time Canadian-bred stakes winner, Lexie Lou followed her win in the mile and a quarter (Polytrack) Queen’s Plate with a mile and a quarter turf win in the Canadian-bred Wonder Where Stakes at Woodbine Aug. 10. Idle since running a distant last as the 3-2 favorite in Woodbine’s Grade II Canadian Stakes Sept. 14, the daughter of Sligo Bay will be trying a mile for the first time in the Autumn Miss.
Condition could be a question for Lexie Lou, as she has but one listed workout since the Canadian Stakes, a five furlong move at Keeneland on Oct. 18 in 1:01.60. Owned by Gary Barber, she is 14-6-2-2 overall with earnings of $1,309,714. With one win from two starts on grass, 12 of her lifetime races have been on Polytrack.
With four horses on the also eligible list, the Autumn Miss lineup also includes local stakes winner Diversy Harbor as well as Alexis Tangier, a winner of Santa Anita’s Unzip Me Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf Sept. 27 and Sheza Smoke Show, a winner of the Grade III, one mile turf Senorita Stakes three starts back on June 28.
A winner of the one mile turf China Doll Stakes in her second career start March 8, Glen Hill Farm’s Diversy Harbor was subsequently stakes placed in three graded turf stakes at Santa Anita: The Grade III Providencia on April 5, the Grade II Honeymoon on May 4, and the Grade I American Oaks on May 31.
Trained by Tom Proctor, Diversy Harbor finished fourth after closing with a rush as the 5-2 favorite in the Grade II, one mile turf San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar July 19, and she’s been idle since running a close sixth in the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles turf Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 16. A Kentucky-bred filly by Curlin, Diversy Harbor has a tremendous late kick which could well be flattered by what appears to be an abundance of speed in the Autumn Miss lineup. Raced exclusively on turf, she has one win from two tries at a mile and is 7-2-2-1 overall with earnings of $217,190.
Trained by Richard Mandella, Ran Jan Racing’s homebred Alexis Tangier made a solid rail run in winning the Unzip Me by a neck and was an impressive one mile turf allowance winner at Del Mar on Aug. 20–her only try at the distance. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Tiznow, she is out of the Avenue of Flags mare Cambiocorsa, who was a multiple stakes winner down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
With three wins and a second from six starts, Alexis Tangier has earnings of $140,280. She figures to be forwardly placed under regular rider Victor Espinoza.
Trained by Peter Eurton, Sheza Smoke Show is a three-time winner over the Santa Anita turf. In addition to her Senorita Stakes win, she broke her maiden going 6 ½ furlongs down the hill on Jan. 4 and was a half length allowance winner going one mile in her next start Jan. 31. Owned by Biegler, Exline, Zubok and partners, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Wilko comes off a fourth place finish in Del Mar’s one mile turf Sandy Blue Stakes Aug. 15.
With three wins from seven starts on turf, Sheza Smoke Show has three wins from eight overall starts and has earnings of $144,394.
Texas-bred Thegirlinthatsong returns to Southern California following a second place finish in the Remington Park Oaks Sept. 28 and will be making her third start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and be ridden back by Rafael Bejarano. Well traveled, she is a two-time minor stakes winner and she’s run at six different tracks in 16 career starts. Owned by Russo, Gatto and Hollendorfer, Thegirlinthatsong has two wins, a second and two thirds from seven races at one mile on turf. She’s 16-4-3-4 overall with earnings of $217,715.
Although winless in three stateside starts, Irish-bred Wonderfully was a Group III winner going seven furlongs in Ireland July 18 and figures to generate considerable interest as she’ll be ridden by veteran jockey Perry Ouzts. At age 60, Ouzts will be riding for the first time at Santa Anita in an attempt to tie retired Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye with his 6,384th win. Owned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc., Wonderfully is trained by Tom Proctor, who in addition to Diversy Harbor and Wonderfully, will also saddle George Krikorian’s Famous Alice.
A three-time winner going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf, trainer Peter Miller’s On the Backstreets was a close fourth as the 5-2 favorite in the one mile turf China Doll Stakes four starts back on March 8–her only try at the distance. It’s expected she’ll lay close to the pace and with four wins from nine starts, she must be respected. On the Backstreets in owned by Brewer Racing Stable, David Lanzman Racing Stable, Inc., Rockhingham Racing and partners.
The complete field for the Autumn Miss Stakes, to be runs as the eighth race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Thegirlinthatsong, Rafael Bejarano, 117; On the Backstreets, Joe Talamo (2nd call) 117; Sheza Smoke Show, Martin Garcia, 122; Famous Alice, Drayden Van Dyke, 117; Lexie Lou, Corey Nakatani, 117; Diversy Harbor, Mike Smith, 117; Alexis Tangier, Victor Espinoza, 117; Zindaya, Brice Blanc, 117; Wonderfully, Perry Ouzts, 117, and Tiz Kissable, Tyler Baze, 117. ALSO ELIGIBLE: Burning Arch, Alex Solis, 117; Kool Kat, Corey Nakatani, 117; Gender Agenda, Joe Talamo, 117, and Maibaby, Kieren Fallon, 117.
First post time on Saturday is 1 p.m. Admission Gates open at 11 a.m.