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CALIFORNIA-BRED TEDDY’S PROMISE HEADS GRADE III LAS FLORES ON SUNDAY, FIELD OF EIGHT TO GO 6 ½ FURLONGS
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 7, 2013)—Grade I stakes winner Teddy’s Promise, who is in search of her third consecutive victory, heads a field of eight older fillies and mares engaged to run 6 ½ furlongs in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes.
An impressive three length winner of the Grade II Santa Monica Stakes going seven furlongs on a wet fast main track Jan. 26, the 5-year-old California-bred mare was equally as impressive in winning the $92,000 Kalookan Queen Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 29. Owned by her breeders, Ted and Judy Nichols, Teddy’s Promise will shorten up a sixteenth of a mile on Sunday.
The complete field, from the rail out, for Sunday’s Las Flores Stakes is as follows:
BELLE OF THE HALL
Off at 7-2 in the Santa Monica, Belle of the Hall ran evenly, finishing fifth, beaten 4 ¾ lengths in a field of seven. Previously based in the East with trainer Tom Albertrani, Belle of the Hall made her first start for multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen in the Santa Monica. In her Southern California debut, the 5-year-old Florida-bred mare by Graeme Hall was a well beaten fourth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Nov. 3.
Owned by Dixiana Farms LLC, she’ll be ridden back by Corey Nakatani, who has the rail to contend with. The last time Belle of the Hall won from the rail was in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 20, 2012. In that race, she was last early in a field of seven and it is expected that Nakatani will employ similar tactics in the Las Flores. She has had five works at Santa Anita since her last start and has earnings of $498,170 from an overall record of 24-6-2-2.
Away slowly when finishing a well beaten seventh in the restricted Wishing Well Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course on Feb. 10, it is imperative that Rumor breaks running in the Las Flores. Handled by Mike Smith in her last three starts, she was a winner with Smith up in the 6 ½ furlong L.A. Woman Stakes on Oct. 7, and has run her best races when close to the pace.
“She just didn’t get away good at all and I just never got in the race,” said Smith on Thursday morning. “Hopefully we’ll get into the race a little more and when she does, she’s a whole lot better than that.”
Trained by Richard Mandella and owned by Ramona Bass, LLC, Claiborne Farm & Dilschneider, Rumor, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Indian Charlie, has won three stakes and is two for three going 6 ½ furlongs. Her overall mark stands at 13-5-4-1, and she has $324,438 in earnings.
A Group III Stakes winner in England, Shumoos was an impressive six furlong allowance winner in her U.S. debut on Jan 25. Breaking from the rail under Garrett Gomez in a field of six, the 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Distorted Humor made the lead leaving the half mile pole and won comfortably by 2 ½ lengths.
Owned by Fawzi Nass and trained by Ben Cecil, Shumoos hadn’t run since Nov. 4, 2011.
“We needed to win today to prove she’s getting back to her best,” said Cecil following her win on Jan. 25. “…I think this filly could be very good. She showed a new dimension today, in that she led. She’s had problems in the gate, but not today.”
With five works to her credit since her win and Gomez engaged to again ride, Shumoos appears primed for a top performance. Her record stands at 8-3-2-1, with earnings of $199,341.
Although fourth to Teddy’s Promise in the Santa Monica Jan. 26, Distracting was a prompt second condition allowance winner at 1-5 in her most recent start on Feb. 21.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano in all six of her lifetime starts, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Distorted Humor is two for two at six furlongs. Trained by Bob Baffert, Distracting was refitted with blinkers for her last start and showed a bit more speed.
With a well documented pressing style, she should be in close early attendance again in the Las Flores. Owned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. & Edward McGhee, she has earnings of $137,300 from an overall mark of 6-3-2-0.
A winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes on Dec. 31, 2011, Teddy’s Promise, one of two California-breds in the Las Flores, has been a dream come true for owner/breeders Ted and Judy Nichols. Well beaten in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Nov. 3, she seemed to recapture her swagger with a big 5 ¼ length win in the Kalookan Queen Stakes on Dec. 29, and followed that up with an impressive three length score in the Grade II Santa Monica on Jan. 26.
The 5-year-old mare by Salt Lake has demonstrated an aversion to running inside, so the number five post position should be a plus to her and regular rider Victor Espinoza. Based at Betfair Hollywood Park with trainer Ron Ellis, “Teddy” has worked four times since the Santa Monica, with her most recent drill an impressive six furlongs in 1:12.40 on March 3, best of 11 at the distance.
A perfect three for three at 6 ½ furlongs, Teddy’s Promise is 21-8-2-1 overall with earnings of $634,981.
A big second at 11-1 in the Santa Monica, 5-year-old Sugarinthemorning has never been better for owner/breeder Stephen Weissman and trainer Ron McAnally.
A minor stakes winner at age three, Sugarinthemorning, a California-bred daughter of Candy Ride, was second to Teddy’s Promise in the 2011 La Brea Stakes (Grade I) and was second, only beaten a neck, in the 2012 Santa Monica (Grade I).
She remains in search of her first graded stakes score in her 20th career start. With a win and a second at 6 ½ furlongs, Sugarinthemorning, who will be ridden for the fifth consecutive time by Martin Garcia, will try to knock the graded stakes door down on Sunday. She has $506,684 in earnings from an overall mark of 19-5-7-1.
Although she finished a distant last on a wet fast surface in the seven-horse Santa Monica on Jan. 26, Pink Lollipops is hoping for a fast track and a different result on Sunday.
Owned by Arnold Zetcher LLC, and trained by Bob Baffert, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Silver Deputy was a gutty allowance winner three starts back on Oct. 20 with regular rider Joe Talamo. With what appears to be an abundance of speed signed on for the Las Flores, Pink Lollipops may try to stalk and pounce.
One for three at 6 ½ furlongs, she has an overall mark of 11-3-1-1 and earnings of $135,690.
A sharp second in a 6 ½ furlong allowance on Feb. 21, Quizzical, a 4-year-old Washington-bred/California sired filly by Cindago, will again be ridden by comebacking Hall of Famer Gary Stevens. Trained by Mark Glatt, Quizzical had a productive 2012, winning three races and earning $130,260.
With a good outside draw and an improving form, Quizzical is a live longshot with Stevens aloft. Her lifetime record is 10-3-3-1, with earnings of $154,260.
The complete field for the Grade III Las Flores Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race program Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Belle of the Hall, Corey Nakatani, 118; Rumor, Mike Smith, 118; Shumoos, Garrett Gomez, 118; Distracting, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Teddy’s Promise, Victor Espinoza, 123; Sugarinthemorning, Martin Garcia, 118; Pink Lollipops, David Flores, 118, and Quizzical, Gary Stevens, 118.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. For more racing information, visit www.santaanita.com.