Making her first attempt over dirt after 19 career starts on the turf, the Todd Pletcher-trained Quiet Royal gets a light impost and looks to steal the Dec. 29 Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course.
Assigned just 116 pounds under jockey John Velasquez, the 4-year-old Royal Academy filly has not raced since Oct. 6, when she finished eighth in the First Lady Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. Prior to that start, however, she put in a four-race string of solid efforts that included wins in the Sept. 22 Kentucky Cup Lady’s Turf and a second-place finish behind Mauralakana in the Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
A group III winner and group I-placed in France, Quiet Royal made her first start in the U.S. in 2006 when she finished third behind Vacare in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland. She followed that effort with a ninth-place finish in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs. She is a homebred for owner Wertheimer & Frere.
The only filly coming into the Stage Door Betty off a victory is Victoria Farm’s homebred Amazing Speed, who will carry the top weight of 121 pounds as she tackles a field of nine other starters.
A 4-year-old daughter of Langfuhr , Amazing Speed won the 1 1/16-mile Sonic Gray Stakes at Calder Dec. 8 by five lengths carrying 123 pounds. Her previous start was a second in the seven-furlong Connie Ann Stakes Nov. 24. Before the Connie Ann, the filly had back-to-back wins in stakes at Calder for trainer Jose Garoffalo, both run at 1 1/16 miles.
A well-beaten second in the Sonic Gray was the Ralph Ziadie-trained Cat Can Do, another homebred 4-year-old who is owned by Lucille Geranis and is a daughter of Adcat. Cat Can Do has not won a race since Aug. 25, when she took Calder’s Sambacrica Stakes by a nose after acing the July 21 Nancy’s Glitter Handicap by three lengths. Both wins came over the 1 1/16-mile distance.
Annabill, who won the 1 1/16-mile Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap on Nov. 10, looks to rebound from a seventh-place in the Dec. 1 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT). Before that race, the 4-year-old Outflanker filly had a trio of wins for trainer Milton Wolfson – her score in the Elmer Heubeck, plus an Oct. 27 win in Calder’s one-mile Copano Stakes and a Sept. 29 victory over the turf in the Capital Request Stakes. Returning to the dirt, she will carry 120 pounds, four more than her last assigned weight in the My Charmer. Annabill is owned by N.T.S. Stable.
Coming off a 3/4-length loss in the 1-1/8 mile My Charmer is the Christophe Clement-trained Bayou’s Lassie, a grade III winner also by Outflanker and another homebred owned by Jacks or Better Farm. Although Bayou’s Lassie has not won a race since her score in the 7 1/2-furlong Frances A. Genter Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Dec. 30 of last year, her past two performances have resulted in solid seconds, including a half-length miss to Annabill in the Elmer Heubeck.
Beautiful Daniele (fifth in the My Charmer), the Argentina-bred Potra Clasica, 3-year-old Exchanging Fire, Stop a Train, and Cindy’s Mom complete the field.
$100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. III, race 10, approximate post 4:19 p.m.), 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares 3-years old and upward, dirt
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Bayou's Lassie, 117, Elvis Trujillo
2. Beautiful Daniele, 116, Kent Desormeaux
3. Potra Clasica, 118, Julio A. Garcia
4. Annabill, 120, Edgar Prado
5. Quiet Royal, 116, John Velazquez
6. Amazing Speed, 121, Carlos Olivero
7. Cindy's Mom, 116, Eddie Castro
8. Exchanging Fire, 119, Edwin L. King, Jr.
9. Stop a Train, 116, Eibar Coa
10. Cat Can Do, 118, Manoel Cruz