MARYLAND-BASED MOTION SHIPS IN WITH GRADE I WINNER PEACE AND WAR & RUSTY SLIPPER
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 22, 2015)–Recent Grade I stakes winner Stormy Lucy heads a full field of 14 fillies and mares three and up in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes, to be contested at 1 1/8 miles over the Santa Anita turf.
Off at 65-1 in Del Mar’s one mile turf Matriarch Stakes Nov. 29, the Ed Moger, Jr.-conditioned Stormy Lucy paid a whopping $132.80, as she was guided to perfection from off the pace in a field of 14 by Kent Desormeaux.
Owned by Moger’s brother, Steve, Stormy Lucy, a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Stormy Atlantic, notched her first-ever Grade I win in the Matriarch and she’ll seek her third win from 11 tries over the Santa Anita lawn on Sunday. With a 7-1-2-1 mark at the Frankel distance, Stormy Lucy will hope for a lively pace with Desormeax again engaged.
Originally trained by Seattle-based Frank Lucarelli, Stormy Lucy was sold privately to Lucarelli’s high school classmate, Steve Moger, following a win in Santa Anita’s Grade II Santa Ana Stakes 11 starts back on March 16, 2014. One of the hardest knocking mares on the West Coast the past two years, her overall record stands at 31-8-2-5, with earnings of $771,700.
Maryland-based trainer Graham Motion will be well represented in the Frankel by a pair of Eastern shippers, Grade I winning Peace and War and recent Grade III winner, Rusty Slipper.
A winner of the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Alcibiades Stakes over a wet fast surface at Keeneland on Oct. 3, 2014, Peace and War is a deep closer who has been winless in seven subsequent starts. Owned by Qatar Racing, Ltd., the 3-year-old Florida-bred filly by War Front is winless from two lifetime starts on grass and may prefer a change of surface if the weather dictates.
Motion’s Rusty Slipper, a 5-year-old mare by Lemon Drop Kid, comes off a stirring come-from-behind tally in the Grade III, 1 3/8 miles (turf) Red Carpet Handicap at Del Mar Nov. 21 and will cut back a couple furlongs in distance for the Frankel. Owned by RMJ Stables, she has two thirds from five starts in Arcadia, and has one win from three tries at the Frankel distance.
Team Valor International’s Three Hearts, who opened up by six lengths after the first half mile in Rusty Slipper’s Red Carpet Handicap win, tired late to finish third, beaten 3 ¼ lengths. Trained by Neil Drysdale, Three Hearts, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Hat Trick, is 7-1-2-2 at 1 1/8 miles on turf and will hope to ration her speed as she cuts back in distance.
An impressive turf allowance winner in her last two starts, Fox Hill Farms’ Glory, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Tapit, has good tactical speed and could prove dangerous as she seeks her first graded stakes win for Jerry Hollendorfer.
The complete field for the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Nancy From Nairobi, Drayden Van Dyke, 119; Three Hearts, Joe Talamo, 119; Alexis Tangier, Gary Stevens, 119; Rusty Slipper, James Graham, 124; Star Act, Kieren Fallon, 119; Peace and War, Joel Rosario, 117; Stormy Lucy, Kent Desormeaux, 124; Fresh Feline, Victor Espinoza, 119; Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze, 121; Sweet as a Rose, Brice Blanc, 119; Gender Agenda, Rafael Bejarano, 119; Glory, Mike Smith, 117, Honey Ride, Abel Lezcano, 119, and Gas Total, Flavien Prat, 119.
First post time on Sunday, Day Two of Santa Anita’s 63-day Winter Meet, is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.