BEATEN CLAIMING $12,500. PURSE $15,000. FOR FILLIES AND MARES THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD WHICH HAVE NEVER WON TWO RACES. SIX AND ONE HALF FURLONGS ON DIRT
Note: Horses listed in ascending order of Morning Line odds. Asterisk indicates predicted winner.
Flat Footed Mama--This Baffert hopeful has spent the last six months in a series of longer races and scratches, never taking better than third and usually fading further from view. One career victory (a route race a good while ago), with all 11 career starts under the command of Martin Garcia, which implies familiarity and consistency but nevertheless has meant mediocre results. Garcia will try again. The 9-5 ML positions FFM as the early favorite in this battle of unknowns and underachievers.
Wild Street Party--One prior race, at Los Al on 9/11, and scored a nice late sprint victory over a field of 9. Fernando Perez rides again. 2-1 ML.
*Kantina Kowgirl--With 15 starts since Jan. 2014, this aggressive self-starter always hustles out of the starting gate with purpose but rarely scores ITM. A mixed bag of shorter and longer races on dirt have been KK’s world, plus pass-around trainers (Glatt, Belvoir, Papaprodromou) and a succession of riders, including Bejarano, who won with her in Jan. 2015. Kerwin John is today’s jockey. In this company, maybe the Avis approach (”We try harder”) can pay off. 4-1 ML.
Italian Baba--Veteran 6-year-old hasn’t won a race in two and a half years. She’s a chronic slow starter, who might be classified as a turtle, though that usually implies coming from the back of the pack late to actually win the race. Whatever life is left in the old girl, Felipe Valdez will attempt to parlay it into victory. 4-1 ML.
Beyond Lucky--This 4-year-old Cal-bred Papaprodromou mare (since July; McCarthy before that) is a Fox-style runner, the bulk of whose experience has been dirt sprints. So this is the right race, but the odds of her performing as she did in April, when TBaze rode her to a solid victory on this track, seem remote. Even this nonplussed collection of misfit challengers should test all of Beyond Lucky’s mettle. Tiago Pereira is the jock. 8-1 ML.
Gold Locket--After three solid starts at Santa Anita early in the year, including a gutsy Mar. 22 at-the-wire winner in a nine-horse field, this 3-year-old was on hiatus five months, finally reemerging under the tutelage of Jeffrey Metz. She finished sixth at Del Mar on Aug. 29. Another rider change means Ry Eikleberry trying to help recapture that early promise. 12-1 ML, but given the uncertainty of the field, that’s a good price for an adventurous player.