Juddmonte Farms' homebred Indian Flare should be formidable Sunday when she tries to give trainer Bobby Frankel his fourth Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) win within six years at Santa Anita on the hillside turf course.
The $100,000 event is for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs on turf and attracted a field of seven.
Frankel, who became Santa Anita’s all-time leading trainer this season, will be sending out high-weight Indian Flare. The 5-year-old mare won her grass debut over Santa Anita’s downhill layout on March 3 when victorious in the Flower Girl Handicap. Regular rider David Flores accounts for most of her 118-pound impost.
Indian Flare, who will break from post position 3, owns a 6-3-3 mark in 15 starts for earnings of $296,496. She has taken a liking to the Santa Anita surroundings where her record reads 4-2-1 in eight races.
River’s Prayer and Red Diadem, a pair of 4-year-old fillies who have been on a roll, will join Indian Flare in attempting to gain graded stakes distinction in the race.
River’s Prayer, victorious in both her starts over Santa Anita’s downhill grass layout including the March 17 Irish O’Brien Stakes, shows three stakes wins on her resume. Clinton Potts, aboard in each, returns to pilot the gray California-bred daughter of Devon Lane for trainer Paula Capestro.
Red Diadem will be rejoined by jockey Victor Espinoza, who guided the English-bred to upset victories in her last two starts over the course for trainer Ben Cecil. She scored at odds of 8-1 and 5-1 in allowance events.
Owned by a partnership that includes trainer Capestro, River’s Prayer has recorded five wins in 12 starts for earnings of $393,033. She faded in a pair of grade I endeavors late last year, Santa Anita’s La Brea Stakes and Hollywood Park’s Matriarch. Three victories surrounded those efforts aside from Del Mar’s Torrey Pines Stakes, in which she stumbled at the start and lost her rider.
Despite going winless in her first four starts in England, Red Diadem has posted a 3-2-0 record in 11 lifetime starts for earnings of $104,454. She is owned by Dolantori Racing.
$100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3:30 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. River's Prayer (CA), 117, Clinton L. Potts
2. Red Diadem (GB), 113, Victor Espinoza
3. Indian Flare (KY), 118, David R. Flores
4. Wild Storm (CHI), 117, Richard Migliore
5. Strong Faith (KY), 113, Martin Garcia
6. No Lullaby (KY), 112, Michael C. Baze
7. Dancing Squall (TX), 112, Jorge F. Chavez