Santa Anita Park - Trainer Bill Spawr's venerable Skye Diamonds, Bill Morey's versatile Coniah and John Sadler's brilliant but lightly raced Selcourt head a field of six older fillies and mares going six furlongs in Sunday's Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita.
Claimed out of a $40,000 claiming win in August, 2016, California-bred Skye Diamonds has won six out nine starts for Spawr, including the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap two starts back on Aug. 13 and the Grade II Great Lady M on July 8.
A winner of the Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes down the hillside turf course on Jan. 20, Bill Morey's versatile Coniah, who is multiple stakes placed on dirt, figures to be plenty tough transitioning back to the main track under Kent Desormeaux.
Idle seven months prior to making her fourth career start here on Jan. 14, Sadler's Selcourt ran lights-out, taking the 6 ½ furlong Kalookan Queen Stakes by 7 ½ lengths in gate to wire fashion. The Las Flores will be the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly's first graded stakes assignment.
||Just a Little Hope
||Drayden Van Dyke
Owner: Medallion Racing, Keith Abrahams and Sandra Lazaruk
Trainer: John Sadler
An immensely promising filly, she appears ready for her "close-up" and could well pose an elusive target on the Las Flores lead. A dazzling 9 ¼ lengths first-out maiden winner going six furlongs on Feb. 12, 2017, she was subsequently favored in a pair of minor sprint stakes here, running second in the April 9 Santa Paula going 6 ½ furlongs and third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths in the seven furlong Angels Flight on May 14.
With her smashing win in the Kalookan Queen under her belt, a repeat performance could land her in the Winner's Circle with regular rider Tyler Baze.
Owner: Allen Racing, LLC, Bloom Racing, LLC, Tom Acker & Jon Lindo
Trainer: Bill Spawr
A 5-year-old California-bred mare by First Dude, she's been idle since running fourth, beaten 3 ½ lengths in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar Nov. 4. With Spawr opting to utilize Santa Anita's training track for her last six recorded works, Skye Diamonds was out for a leisurely half mile yesterday in 51.60.
Her impressive resume includes five wins and three seconds from 11 starts locally and she's 17-9-3-0 overall with earnings of $539,150. With Tiago Pereira set to ride her back for the 11th consecutive time, Skye Diamonds looms the horse to beat.
Owner: James & Tammy McKenney
Trainer: William Morey
Idle since June 18 of last year, this 5-year-old California-bred mare by Harlington came back running on Jan. 20, as she battled for the early lead and held sway in the Grade III Las Cienegas by 1 ¾ lengths. Beaten narrow margins while on the board in four graded stakes on dirt, Coniah should have no problem with the change in surface Sunday.
Bred by her owners and out of the Lord At War mare Pretti Woman, she's got an overall mark of 20-4-5-3 and has earnings of $295,365.