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Emmy Darling Does Quick Turnaround in Sunday's La Habra
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2009) – After running a disappointing seventh last Saturday in the $250,000 Sunshine Million Oaks, Emmy Darling is scheduled for a hasty U-turn when returning to a grass surface in Sunday’s 36th running of the Grade III, $100,000 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.
The La Habra will be the eighth-race feature on a nine-race program that will begin at 11 a.m., 1 ½ hours earlier than usual, in deference to the Super Bowl with its scheduled kickoff of 3:28 p.m. (PST).
A Florida-bred daughter of Graeme Hall trained by John Sadler for Ike and Dawn Trash, Emmy Darling will have faced the toughest company of the 12 entrants in the race that offers her first experience over the unique grass layout.
Emmy Darling, however, has raced well in two previous efforts on turf while going one mile. She placed fifth in Oak Tree’s $1.15 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Oct. 24 before finishing fourth in Hollywood Park’s Grade III Miesque Stakes, just three-quarters of a length behind victorious Habaya, one month later.
Jockey Victor Espinoza takes over on Emmy Darling, who has earned $124,090 from a 1-1-1 record in seven starts, her only win coming in Hollywood Park’s Landaluce Stakes last June.
The complete field for the La Habra Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Pasar Silbano, Mike Smith, 122; Shantika’s Dream, Chantal Sutherland, 116; Gold Goddess, Jose Valdivia Jr., 116; Doughnut, David Flores, 116; Acting Lady, Rafael Bejarano, 116; False Impression, Brice Blanc, 116; Broadway Hennessey, Joel Rosario, 116; Emmy Darling, Victor Espinoza, 122; Jemmealey, Tyler Baze, 116; Real Fancy Runner, Joseph Talamo, 116, and Miss Silver Brook, Alex Solis, 116.
Rafael Bejarano, who rode Emmy Darling in her last three starts, has accepted the mount on Acting Lady for trainer Doug O’Neill, whose Super Freaky set the La Habra Stakes record of 1:12.66 two years ago. Like Emmy Darling, Acting Lady will be shortening up in distance after running fifth in the Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Her only victory in five races is a maiden score under Bejarano at one mile on turf at Hollywood Park in November.
The field includes a pair of smart maiden winners in their only starts. Garrett Gomez will be back aboard the Peter Miller-trained Ready Steady Gone, who captured her first out over the downhill layout on Dec. 27 for Gary and Cecil Barber. Alex Solis has the return call atop Miss Silver Buck, who won her debut for trainer Julio Canani at six furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface on Jan. 11. The gray filly, owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, is bred for the turf, being a daughter of Cozzene.
HRTV will televise the racing program that is themed to coincide with the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla. The second race, however, will be named in honor of 106-year-old racing fan Florence Tuckman, who will attend along with family and friends.