Irish-Bred Manhattan Jungle Looms Large In Saturday’s $100,000 Sweet Life Stakes
IRISH-BRED MANHATTAN JUNGLE LOOMS LARGE IN SATURDAY’S $100,000 SWEET LIFE STAKES AS 11 SOPHOMORE FILLIES GO 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2023)—Twice Group III-placed in France and most recently a solid second here in an ungraded stakes going one mile on turf, trainer Michael McCarthy’s Irish-bred Manhattan Jungle, who will be ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori, rates top billing among a field of 11 sophomore fillies going about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in Saturday’s $100,000 Sweet Life Stakes.
Close to the pace throughout, Manhattan Jungle was beaten 1 ½ lengths at odds of 2-1 in the Dec. 30 Blue Norther Stakes, which followed an eighth place finish in the her U.S. debut, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland on Nov. 4.
Although she was bred in Ireland, Manhattan Jungle made six starts in France at age two, winning her first three while second and third in a pair of Group III events, both as six furlongs on turf, on Aug. 2 at Deauville and on Sept. 17 at Chantilly.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Manhattan Jungle, who was well beaten in her lone start in England, a Group II at Ascot on June 15, is 9-3-2-1 overall and should be forwardly placed in her first hillside try.
Irish-bred Havana Angel, although winless in two stateside tries, was also Group III placed in France at age two and has been well supported in the tote in both of her starts for Leonard Powell—a disappointing seventh going six furlongs on synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields Nov. 12 and a sixth place finish in her U.S. debut going a mile on turf in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar Sept. 10.
Owned by Laura DeSeroux and Marsh Naify, Havana Angel will be reunited with leading rider Juan Hernandez, who was aboard two starts back at Del Mar when she was dispatched at odds of 4-1 in a field of 11 juvenile fillies.
Keen early, Havana Angel, who has a win and three thirds from seven starts, lacked the necessary kick on Sept. 10 and was beaten 4 ½ lengths. With two starts under her belt for Powell and Hernandez back aboard, look for Havana Angel to run a much improved race in the Sweet Life.
A well beaten fourth in her first start going 6 ½ furlongs on dirt Dec. 2 at Del Mar, Texas-bred Itzel was bet down to the 2-1 favorite in a Maiden $62,500 claimer here on Jan. 20 and she responded with an impressive 1 ¼ length win going 5 ½ furlongs on turf in a front-running victory in which she repelled a serious challenge from the Tim Yakteen-trained Foolish in mid-stretch.
Claimed for $62,500 by Peter Miller for owner Gary Barber, Itzel, a $42,000 Keeneland September Yearling, is by the Uncle Mo stallion Mo Town and is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Catch That Song. Ridden by apprentice Abdul Alsagoor in her first two starts, Itzel will be handled for the first time by Umberto Rispoli on Saturday.
Second, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by Richard Mandella’s Ice Dancing going seven furlongs on dirt in the Grade III Santa Ynez here on Jan. 8, Doug O’Neill’s Satin Doll will try turf for the first time in what will be her sixth career start.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of Congrats out of Cliff’s Secret. by The Cliff’s Edge, Satin Doll was a first-out maiden winner going five furlongs July 23 at Del Mar and was subsequently a well beaten fourth in the Grade II Sorrento Stakes Aug. 13.
Ridden by four different jockeys in her first four starts, she’ll be ridden back by Edwin Maldonado on Saturday. Owned by The Del Mar Group, Satin Doll, who should be rallying from off the pace, is 5-1-1-1 overall.
THE SWEET LIFE STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 9 of 10 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT
- Satin Doll—Edwin Maldonado—120
- Ragtime Rose—Hector Berrios—120
- Havana Angel—Juan Hernandez—120
- Manhattan Jungle—Lanfranco Dettori—124
- Pleasant Wave—Kazushi Kimura—120
- Decorated My Life—Joe Bravo—120
- Itzel—Umberto Rispoli—120
- Excelia—Geovanni Franco—120
- Naughty Lottie—Kent Desormeaux—120
- Fun Money—Mario Gutierrez—120
- Happy Gal—Tiago Pereira--120
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.