BAFFERT’S QAHIRA SEEKS FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN IN FRIDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 CHILLINGWORTH STAKES AT SANTA ANITA
RACE HONORS THE MEMORY OF LONGTIME OAK TREE RACING OFFICIAL ON AUTUMN MEET OPENER
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2020)–Bob Baffert holds a strong three-card hand in Friday’s Grade III, $100,000 Chillingworth Stakes at Santa Anita, with his streaking 4-year-old Qahira, who is in search of her fourth consecutive win, rating top billing among a field of seven fillies and mares three and up going 6 ½ furlongs.
Due to air quality concerns resulting from the Bobcat Fire in the nearby San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Anita’s 2020 Autumn Meet, originally scheduled to begin on Sept. 19, will instead open this Friday, with both the Grade III Chillingworth and the Grade II Eddie D Stakes headlining a 10-race card.
Baffert will also be well represented by classy Quality Response, a restricted stakes winner at two who will be making her second start of the year on Friday and by recent restricted stakes winner Message, a 4-year-old filly that will be shortening up out of four consecutive routes.
Richard Mandella’s Amuse, most recently second in the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap going 6 ½ furlongs, seeks her first graded stakes win at age five and rates a solid chance.
Formerly run as the LA Woman Stakes, the Chillingworth honors the memory of longtime Oak Tree Racing Association Executive Vice President Sherwood Chillingworth, who passed away in October, 2019 at the age of 93.
Owner: Baoma Corporation
Trainer: Bob Baffert
A winner of four out of her six career starts, Qahira, who dominated her competition by taking a 6 ½ furlong classified allowance by three lengths on Aug. 16 at Del Mar, will be making her second start of the year and will also be trying stakes competition for the first time. Although ridden last time by Abel Cedillo, top eastern rider Luis Saez, who comes to town primarily to ride Maximum Security for Baffert in Saturday’s Grade I Awesome Again, will be aboard for the first time. Dating back to her 4 ¾ length first-out maiden romp on Nov. 25, 2018, she has dominated her competition by a combined 13 ¼ lengths in her four victories. With speed to spare and Saez aloft, Qahira is the horse to beat in the Chillingworth.
Owner: Mike Pegram, Karl Watson & Paul Weitman
Trainer: Bob Baffert
A winner of her first two starts in September of last year by a combined 12 ¾ lengths, this daughter of Quality Road was subsequently dispatched at 7-2 in the Grade I Frizette Stakes going a one turn mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 6, 2019, but finished a well beaten last and did not resurface prior to running a respectable fourth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths in second condition allowance going 5 ½ furlongs on Sept. 6 at Del Mar. With a recent race under her belt, look for big improvement.
Owner: Claiborne Farm, Ramona Bass, Perry Bass & Adele Dilschneider
Trainer: Richard Mandella
A game second when beaten 3 ¾ lengths in the Grade III Rancho Bernardo on Aug. 21, this 5-year-old mare by Medaglia d’Oro, who has two wins from nine starts, will be making her fifth start of the year and with two wins from three lifetime starts at Santa Anita, rates a solid chance.
THE GRADE III CHILLINGWORTH, WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 6 of 10 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- Message – Flavien Prat- 124
- Qahira – Luis Saez – 124
- Into Chocolate – Umberto Rispoli – 124
- Mucho Amor – Juan Hernandez – 124
- Hang a Star – Tyler Baze – 122
- Unique Factor – Heriberto Figueroa – 124
- Amuse – Drayden Van Dyke – 122
First post time for a 10-race program on Friday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.