ARCADIA, Calif. (April 24, 2015)–Trainer Doug O’Neill’s front running Birdlover seeks her third consecutive win as she heads a field of eight fillies and mares in Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes at one mile turf this Sunday.
A winner of the restricted Wishing Well Stakes, run at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course two starts back on Feb. 8, the 5-year-old English-bred mare ran the best race of her career in taking a one mile turf allowance gate to wire by 2 ¼ lengths on March 22 and will likely employ a similar strategy when breaking from the far outside in Sunday’s Wilshire, which will be her third start off a one year layoff.
Owned by D. Kramer, Steven Keh and Robert Cseplo, Birdlover retains the services of Rafael Bejarano as she seeks her first graded stakes victory. With two wins and a second at one mile on turf, Birdlover is 15-5-5-0 overall with earnings of $258,535.
Idle for 55 weeks, Richard Mandella’s Indecise came back running to be second, beaten a half length by Birdlover in the Wishing Well, and appears set for a big effort in the Wilshire. Owned by L.J. Daley, the 6-year-old mare by Pleasant Tap likes to run from off the pace and could have plenty of speed to run at on Sunday.
Although she was disqualified from a win four starts back in January, 2013, Indecise has finished first in two of three starts at a mile on turf and will be ridden back by Flavien Prat. She is 11-3-2-3 overall with earnings of $137,600.
Mandella will also be represented by classy Moulin de Mougin, who ran an even ninth in a one mile turf allowance April 4, her first start since clipping heels and falling at odds of 5-1 in the Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes on Sept. 27.
Owned and bred in Kentucky by Ran Jan Racing Inc., the 5-year-old mare by Curlin took the Grade II John C. Mabee three starts back on Aug. 10 at Del Mar and could improve by many with Mike Smith back in her corner. Although winless in three tries at a flat mile on turf, Moulin de Mougin is 15-4-2-2 overall with earnings of $313,410.
Trainer Eric Kruljac’s Blingismything comes off a pair of solid third place performances in graded competition and looms extremely dangerous with red-hot Tyler Baze set to take over for the first time since the 5-year-old mare by Arch broke her maiden nine starts back. Blingismything pressed the pace two starts back and was beaten 1 ½ lengths in the Grade II, one mile turf Buena Vista Stakes Feb. 16 and then rallied from off the pace to be beaten 1 ¾ lengths in the Grade III, 6 ½ furlong turf Las Cienegas Stakes on April 11.
Owned by Class Racing Stable, Blingismything has a win, a second and a third from three starts at a mile on turf and is 9-3-2-3 overall with earnings of $186,330.
Second, beaten 3 ¾ lengths by multiple Eclipse Award winning Beholder in the 1 1/16 miles Santa Lucia Stakes April 10, trainer Keith Desormeaux’s Uzziel will hope her front-running form transfers to turf in the Wilshire. Owned and bred in California by James W. and Tammy McKenney, the 4-year-old California-bred filly by Harlington was 13th and last in her only other turf try, the one mile China Doll Stakes 10 starts back on March 8, 2014.
Second, beaten by 2 ¾ lengths by high flying Warren’s Veneda three starts back in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles Santa Maria Stakes Feb. 14, Uzziel has two second from her last three starts for Desormeaux and appears vastly improved. She is 14-4-2-2 overall with earnings of $239,238.
The complete field for the Grade III Wilshire, to be run as the seventh race on an eight-race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Moulin de Mougin, Mike Smith, 121; Thegirlinthatsong, Corey Nakatani, 124; Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez, 119; Blingismything, Tyler Baze, 119; Uzziel, Kent Desormeaux, 119; Sky Treasure, Joe Talamo, 119; Indecise, Flavien Prat, 119, and Birdlover, Rafael Bejarano, 119.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.