Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes comes our way from Santa Anita Park in beautiful Arcadia, California this Saturday, January 26. The race will feature fillies and mares four years old and upward as they go seven furlongs for their share of the $250,000 purse.
A group of nine older females will line up in the Santa Monica Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 3:30 PM. Here is a look into the credentials of all nine combatants ahead of this Grade 2 race.
Kindle - has nine career starts with four wins including two of her last four - one coming in the Bangles and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park September 21 and the other in the Cool Air Stakes at Hollywood Park November 23 over Broken Dreams. Her other two races in the last four resulted in a pair of seconds - in the Grade 3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes behind Broken Dreams at Santa Anita October 20 just ahead of Byrama and the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes behind the impressive Breeders' Cup Champ Mizdirection last time out at Santa Anita January 6. Kindle is winless in her last three starts on this track but switches back to a more comfortable dirt surface, and even though the Santa Monica is her first try at seven furlongs she has to be the favorite Saturday.
Sugarinthemorning - had six starts in 2012 with four second place finishes - the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo two back, the Grade 2 A Gleam three back, the Fran's Valentine Stakes in May and the 2012 version of this race on January 28 in a race that Home Sweet Aspen won.. Last time out was a disappointing seventh as 6-5 favorite in the John Deere California Cup Distaff October 13. Sugarinthemorning either finishes out of the money or in second place lately - hopes are that she can break through Saturday after failing to register a win in her last nine starts and avenge her worst result in nearly two years.
Teddy's Promise - Teddy's Promise is a graded stakes winner that struggled a tad in 2012 before a win last time out in the minor Kalookan Queen Stakes here December 29 by 5 1/4. That followed an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint after she set the pace for a half mile. She placed in just two of seven starts last year - both minor stakes wins, had three fifths, a fourth and that eighth in the Breeders' Cup.
Rumor - is a multiple stakes winner although she still has yet to break through in a graded stakes race. Rumor has won five of 12 starts and has placed in all except last year's Grade 1 Santa Monica Stakes on January 28 and the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint last time out when she finished fifth. She finished a decent third three back in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo and won the minor L.A Woman Stakes here October 7 before her Breeders' Cup experience.
Belle of the Hall is graded stakes placed and a multiple stakes winner that has four fourth place finishes in her last four starts including the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint last time out at 49-1 odds, the Grade 1 Ballerina two back, the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Stakes three back and the Grade 2 Vagrancy Stakes four back. She won the minor Valor Lady Stakes at Belmont Park October 3 and has been consistently OK the last six or so months.
Byrama - was decent in 2012 with three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 10 starts. Two back was a decent third as favorite in the Grade 3 Ken Maddy Stakes here October 20 behind Broken Dreams and Kindle to follow a win in the minor Unzip Me Stakes here September 29 and a second in the C.E.R.F Stakes September 5. She also had a win in the Manhattan Beach Stakes at Hollywood Park to follow a third in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes and a second in the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes on April 7. Last time out was a disappointing fourth in the competitive Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes here January 6. Byrama makes her first start on dirt Saturday.
Distracting - Bob Baffert trained filly has just four career starts but won her first two before a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming two back and a second in the minor Pasadena Handicap as favorite last time out here January 13. She is lightly raced but has been competitive every time out.
Journaliste - Argentinean filly had four wins, and a second in seven career starts in her homeland before a fourth in her North American debut at the Cool Air Stakes at Hollywood Park November 23 for trainer John Sadler. She was mighty impressive in Argentina - hopes are she can carry that success to North America.
Pink Lollipops - Bob Baffert trained mare has finished fourth in three of her last four starts - all three coming in minor stakes races. She did have an Allowance Optional Claiming score two back here October 20 but has yet to step up in graded stakes action.