Unbeaten in seven other starts, the Silver Hawk mare scored her last victory over the Santa Anita turf in the Sept. 29 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT), which she won by three-quarters of a length over Citronnade racing as a homebred for Warren B. Williamson. The California-bred last raced over the Filly and Mare Turf’s distance of 1 1/8-miles when she won the Vanity Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park in July.
The Filly and Mare Turf field has not come up without viable challengers for the Carla Gaines-trainee. First on the list is the Haras Santa Maria de Araras-homebred Quite a Bride. The Florida-bred was a handy winner of the South Beach Stakes at Gulfstream last time out Jan. 3. The 5-year-old daughter of Stormy Atlantic scored that victory for trainer Bill Mott by 4 ¾-lengths off a layup following her third-place finish behind Vacare and Precious Kitten in the First Lady Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland Oct. 6. Prior to those starts Quite a Bride had a 3 ½-length win in the Ellis Park Breeders’ Cup Turf. Her seven career stakes victories include grade III wins in the 2007 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill and the 2006 Boiling Springs Stakes at Monmouth.
Trainer Craig Dollase will have the Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust-owned Bai and Bai breathing down the neck of Nashoba’s Key, and the Falstaff mare has a legitimate shot considering her second-place finish behind the Gaines trainee in the Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar last summer. Bai and Bai was second to Romance Is Diane in the California Cup Matron Handicap at Santa Anita Nov. 3, and previously finished third behind Tough Tiz’s Sis and Hystericalady in the Lady’s Secret Stakes (gr. I). Between those efforts and her second-place Clement L. Hirsh finish, she had back-to-back wins in the Solana Beach Handicap at Del Mar and the Las Madrinas Handicap at Fairplex. Quite a Bride was bred in California by Mares’ Nest.
The 6-year-old Dance Floor mare Somethinaboutlaura seems ambitiously placed coming off a 1 ¼-length win in the Jan. 1 Campanile Stakes over the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields, but the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has proven versatile over any track. She has 14 stakes wins to her credit for the partnership of Hollendorfer, Charles Miller, John Sikura, and George Todaro, including consecutive wins in the A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park. She was bred in California by Lilley Ranch.
With five wins and two seconds in her past seven starts, Robert Alexander’s Placid Lake takes a step up in company and seeks to continue a three-race winning streak. The 6-year-old daughter of Greenwood Lake, bred in Florida by Farnsworth Farms, was up to each challenge leveled at her in 2007 but made all of her starts last year in allowance company. Her first start of 2008, the Glendale Handicap at Turf Paradise, resulted in a three-quarter-length win. Trainer Vladimir Cerin will saddle.
Live Oak Plantation’s Snow Cone, Alan Benning’s Lady Tropicana, and Curt and Lila Lanning’s Gentle Charmer complete the field.
$500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes (race 5, approximate post 1:44 p.m. PST), 1 1/8-miles for fillies and mares* 4-year-olds and upward, turf
*All starters carry 122 pounds except Snow Cone, assigned 120
PP., Horse, Age, Jockey
1. Somethinaboutlaura (CA), 6, Michael Baze
2. Placid Lake (FL), 6, David Flores
3. Snow Cone (FL), 4, Eddie Castro
4. Lady Tropicana (FL), 5, Alex Solis
5. Gentle Charmer (CA), 6, Kyle Kaenel
6. Nashoba's Key (CA), 5, Joseph Talamo
7. Quite a Bride (FL), 5, Garrett Gomez
8. Bai and Bai (CA), 5, Victor Espinoza