A full field of 14 fillies and mares will travel 11 furlongs over the firm Santa Anita turf. With $3,000,000 on the line, the action should be fast and furious. Let’s meet the field in qualifying order:
The top qualifier is Dixiedotco’s 4 YO deep closing Dubawi filly, A Little Thunder. She is based on Eclipse winning, seven million dollar earning he-mare Frame By Frame who won four G-1 events including a string of three in a row. A Little Thunder has won half of her sixteen career starts including her last two. Both of those were G-2 twelve furlong tests in which she blew the doors off her startled opponents and drew clear while posting back-to-back 112 speed figures. Cocked, locked and ready to rock!
Lenny has the next two on the list. First comes Traitor’s Duke. She is a 4 YO by Duke of Marmalade from the stakes winning Bernardini matron, Traitor’s Walk. Traitor’s Duke is coming off a powerful victory in the G-1 British Champion Gals (SP 108). She is just shy of 2 million in career earnings and hopes to add a large chunk of change to that total on Saturday.
Lenny’s next entrant is named for the Dragon Age god of rebellion. Fen’Harel broke her maiden running two miles and has raced exclusively at that distance ever since. Her best race was probably the G-1 Gold Glass in which the Shamardal 4 YO just barely failed to catch Balata’s speedy Crushing who had opened up an insurmountable lead. Fen’Harel was well clear of the third place finisher and posted a noteworthy 114 speed figure. Certainly figures to menace if she handles the cutback.
The Chicago Black Hawk’s number one fan, Kaner, spared no expense breeding Otto Orlando (Scat Daddy x Danzig x Secretariat). And the big 6 YO has rewarded Dan many times over to the tune of $3,677,380. In addition to winning this race last year, O O won the 2018 British Champion Gals. Last time out she was a solid 3rd in this year’s BCG behind Traitor’s Duke. Defending champ will be on or near the lead and is a serious threat here. But I would like her a lot better if the turf were wet like last year.
It is always a pleasure for this scribe to cover races in which Willyam has a starter. He has been an excellent trainer for a long time and I am grateful to him for using jockey NBonus on his good horses long before NB became a household name. He often names his horses with religious themes. Warfareisspiritual (Declaration of War) arrives in career best form. The daughter of G-1 winning Prayingwithimpact (Dubawi x Galileo x Dynaformer) has won her last three races including two G-1s and a G-2. Has mostly raced in the 9 to 10f range but did take down the 12 furlong Vermillion (G-1) last time out. Obvious threat in her current form and the deserving favorite (9-2).
Crafty veteran Mightyforego sends out immaculately bred Teary Eyed Fool. The 4 YO Frankel filly from No Time For Tears (Street Cry x Dynaformer x Private Account) went over the million mark in career earnings last time out when she beat a star studded field in the G-1 Yolkshire Oaks (SP 113). She’s hoping for a victory which would propel her past older half brother Dynamic Dreamer (G-1, $1.9 million) in career earnings.
Quiteria punched her ticket to Southern California in March when she ran down top qualifier, Traitor’s Duke, in the G-1 Swarm Song (SP114). The daughter of Galileo and G-2 winner Requiescat in Pace (Danehill Dancer x Gone West x Red Ransom) has fallen on hard times recently. Trainer Mtk is hoping she can regain her earlier form in a hurry.
Fiendishly Clever is the first of a trio of three year old fillies representing Atthewire Racing. She won the G-1 English Oaks in June over 12 furlongs so the distance question has been answered. What we do not know is how the Golden Horn youngster will fare against more seasoned rivals. Her speed figures have improved and if she can regain her early season confidence, who knows what could happen?
Testbarn is well represented by Conspiracy TB. The rangy Galileo 4 YO posted a huge 116 speed figure winning at this week’s exact distance in the G-2 Sheepherder Beach three starts back. Last time out she was a fast closing 3rd behind Teary Eyed Fool in the G-1 Yolkshire Oaks. One of the main contenders.
BBaffert’s O G Deep Seeker (Deep Impact) has won a trio of listed stakes including a pair at 11.5 furlongs. In fact, her lifetime best SP (115) was taken in one of those 11.5f races back in March. More importantly, The 4 YO has won her last three races in a row culminating in a G-2 victory last time out. Appears ready for this test.
The second Atthewire entry is long shot (53-1) Soul of Stars. The good news for the 3 YO daughter of Americain and long running Chunky Soul (Perfect Soul) is that back in May she won the G-1 Diana Grand Prix in Germany. The bad news is that she is unplaced in three graded attempts since then. Clearly up against it facing sharp older gals.
Although Legendary Cadet is far down the list of qualifiers, her chances of winning are better indicated by her odds of 5-1. The 6 YO second betting choice, trained by legendary Cadet, is a millionaire out of another millionaire, G-3 winning Mother Deputy (Jade Hunter). The equine Legendary Cadet arrives in Southern California in splendid form. Last time out the flashy Dansili mare prepped at today’s exact distance over her home track taking out a nice field in a New York G-3 while posting a solid 113 speed number in her gate to wire triumph. The veteran mare loves to race on or near the lead and will likely be involved from flag fall to finish.
Momentary Triumph is the third and final Atthewire entry. The daughter of Cape Blanco and graded placed Triumphant Wire (Exceed and Excel) won a G-2 in Germany back in April. She followed that up with a good third behind stablemate Fiendishly Clever in the G-1 English Oaks. Since then she has failed to hit the board in her last three outings. Speed figures are a cut below these so the 3 YO is going to need a big step forward to be competitive.
Dixiedotco has the first and last qualifier. Arthurstown is by far the least experienced filly in the race. The 3 YO King Kamehameha lass from the sensationally bred G-3 winner, Duncannon (Dubawi x Sadler’s Wells x Roberto) has started only 8 times. She is G-1 placed twice and two back demolished a decent field in a Deauville G-3. Last time out she was second in a listed stake behind Padrebri’s streaking End Boss. Promising future and not entirely impossible here.