(from Santa Anita report)
Multiple grade I stakes winner Balance, sidelined since May while undergoing ankle surgery, returns to action at her favorite racetrack on Saturday when carrying high weight of 123 pounds among 11, 3-year-old fillies in Santa Anita’s $250,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at seven furlongs.
A daughter of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch, Balance went amiss when soundly beaten as the 8-5 favorite in the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). She captured the Santa Anita Oaks and Las Virgenes Stakes, both grade I events, earlier in the season at Santa Anita.
"She had a chip removed from her ankle," said David Hofmans, who trains Balance for John and Jerry Amerman, "but she’s come back well and has been working well. We’re looking forward to her return."
Balance, whose four victories in eight starts have all been achieved at Santa Anita toward earnings of $570,159, will be reunited with Victor Espinoza in a race the jockey won aboard Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) upsetter Spain in 2000.
Competition in her comeback includes Foxysox, winner of Hollywood Park’s Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) in her last start, her first on a non-grass surface. The lightly raced Squallacious was unbeaten sprinting in two starts before running second while trying a distance in the Hollywood Breeders’ Cup Oaks (gr. II).
With Espinoza, who was victorious aboard Foxysox in the Bayakoa, reuniting with Balance, Corey Nakatani takes over aboard the Carla Gaines-trained filly who has earned $448,254 from a 5-2-2 record in 14 starts.
Trainer Mike Puype, meanwhile, has named racing’s all-time win leader Russell Baze to replace Nakatani atop Squallacious, who has earned $88,000 from her 2-1-0 mark in three races.
Click link below to view Official Entries for La Brea Stakes from Equibase Company: