Halfbridled To Skip Las Virgenes; Will Train Up to SA Oaks
Updated: Tuesday, February 10, 2004 10:41 AM
Posted: Monday, February 9, 2004 5:01 PM
Photo: Mike Corrado
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Halfbridled will skip the Las Virgenes.
Trainer Dick Mandella, unhappy with Halfbridled's last work, said he has decided to skip the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 15 and train her up to the March 13 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I).
Last year's champion 2-year-old filly had missed a work due to a cough, then returned to the work tab on Jan. 29 with a six-furlong drill in 1:14 2/5. But when the daughter of Unbridled worked a mile in 1:40 1/5 on Feb. 3, Mandella said he did not like the way she did it.
"She gave a few coughs again, and I wasn't real happy with the breeze," Mandella said. "I feel there are just too many little negatives running her in the Las Virgenes, so I'll just train her up to the Santa Anita Oaks, then send her to Keeneland for the Ashland Stakes (gr. I)."
By missing the Las Virgenes, Halfbridled would have only two starts before heading to Churchill Downs for either the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) or Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Mandella said it's still way too early to think about the Derby, but hopes he has that dilemna come May. "She'd have to come back as dominant as she was last year to even consider it," Mandella said.
The undefeated Halfbridled has not run since her impressive victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, which nailed down championship honors.
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