RACE 3--SANTA ANITA--OCT. 4, 2015
Stakes for fillies and mares, three years old and upward. The winner to receive $60,000, $20,000 to second, $12,000 to third, $6,000 to fourth and $2,000 to fifth. Non-winners of a Graded Stakes since April 4, allowed 3 lbs. Non-winners of a Graded Stakes since October 4, 2014, 5 lbs. Six and One Half Furlongs.
Note: Horses listed in ascending order of Morning Line odds. Asterisk indicates predicted winner.
*Taris--Kentucky-bred 4-year-old Taris debuted in Dec. 2013 with a 10-length victory at Aqueduct. Seems to have been on a short leash since then, with sporadic appearances in the East, then a single race at SA in Dec. 2014 and more recently at Del Mar (8/15), where she scored a really impressive victory as the favorite in a race that looked a lot like this one, featuring Wasted at Midnight, Uzziel and another strong runner, Baruta, who took 2nd. Gary Stevens will ride the Callaghan trainee again, and the only knock against her is the absence of more evidence to confirm her superiority. Yet Taris passes the eye test, and with her 6-5 ML, it’s clear that others think so too.
Unforgettable U--A year’s worth of consistent activity marks this 4-year-old as a reliable sprinter but with some erratic results overall. More recently, UU, now being trained by Richard Baltas, has looked very good, with a win last time out (9/7 at Del Mar) and a close 2nd (8/9), edged out at the wire by one of today’s competitors, Ben’s Duchess. Edwin Maldonado has been a regular aboard UU, and he’ll ride her today. 9-5 ML.
Ben’s Duchess--Impressive Sadler 3-year-old has finished ITM eight straight races, including two excellent wins out of her last four starts (8/9 & 6/14), and a tough 2nd-place finish last time out (9/6), losing to one of today’s challengers, Uzziel. Joe Talamo jumps aboard for his sixth straight ride on a horse who’s never seen a dirt sprint she didn’t like. Good stalking style. 4-1 ML.
Uzziel--The 4-year-old Cal-bred spent the early portion of this year in route races with okay results, but has returned more recently to sprints. She won last time out (9/6) and has now finished ITM in three straight starts—all races featuring a cozy field of battle-tested fillies and mares who like to race fast and hard, and rarely more than six furlongs. Formerly trained by Mike Puype, Uzziel is now in the care of the Desormeaux clan, with Kent D. her exclusive jockey since March of this year. 4-1 ML.
Wasted at Midnight--This 5-year-old Florida-bred mare set the pace last time out (8/16 at Del Mar), but hit the wall late up against two tough competitors whom she meets again today, Uzziel and Taris. With no wins since February, WAM is a study in a good horse who competes hard for the lead for about five furlongs... and then simply can’t keep up. Martin Garcia has been a steady presence in the irons and he again rides this hard-working lady, who’s been in the Richard Mandella barn since early 2014. 15-1 ML.