Wait a While Leads 'Gorgonio Cast

Wait a While Leads 'Gorgonio Cast
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Wait a While heads a field of six in the San Gorgonio Handicap at Santa Anita Jan. 6.
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With heavy rain expected in Southern California this weekend, multiple grade I winner Wait a While leads a field of six set for Santa Anita's $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) scheduled for the turf on Jan. 6.

Nashoba's Key was not included in the line-up for the 1 1/8-mile event for older fillies and mares. Trainer Carla Gaines cited risky weather and track conditions for the decision not to enter.

“We’ll wait for the Sunshine Millions (on Jan. 26),” the trainer said. “It would be one of two races, either the Classic or the Filly and  Mare Turf.”

The Nashoba's Key defection makes Wait a While, the 121-pound highweight, a solid choice if she goes. Regular rider Garrett Gomez has the mount once again.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Arindel Farm star is coming off a second-place finish behind Precious Kitten in the one-mile Matriarch (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park lawn  on Nov. 25.

Though she was game in defeat, Wait a While was compromised by the Matriarch pace and could not make an impression on Precious Kitten in the stretch run, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind.

With two wins in six starts in 2007, the daughter of Maria's Mon did not have a season that compared to the one she had in 2006 when she garnered an Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding 3-year-old filly.

Wait a While captured both the American Oaks (gr. IT) and Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) among her five victories as a 3-year-old, earning more than $1.2 million. The gray has a 9-3-4 record in 19 lifetime starts and has banked $1,729,917.

Bobby Frankel is represented by Juddmonte Farms' homebred Costume. In three starts against top company since she was transferred to the U.S. this summer, the 4-year-old daughter of Danehill has finished fourth each time. In her most recent try, she was three lengths behind Bit of Whimsy in the Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 10. She also competed in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (gr. IT) and Garden City (gr. IT) since joining Frankel.

Group III-placed in her final start in Great Britain, the bay filly has one victory in nine lifetime starts and earnings of $120,187.

Lavender Sky, a consistent daughter of Mt. Livermore, took a big step forward in her last start for trainer Dan Hendricks when she finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Citronnade, in the Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park three weeks ago. Lavender Sky, who made her graded stake debut in the Dahlia, has not been worse than third in seven of eight career starts but has only one victory over maidens in Nov. 2006.

"She’s tried hard every time from her first race on," Hendricks said. "She’s just a good, solid filly. She started off as very, very small, but now she’s matured and solid, and comes from a really good family.”

Lavender Sky worked five furlongs Jan. 1 in a bullet :58 3/5.

The Irish-bred Sohgol gained her first stakes victory in her last start, the 1 1/2-mile Hermosa Beach Handicap on the Hollywood lawn on Dec. 5. Augustin Stable owns the 6-year-old Singspiel mare who is trained by Neil Drysdale. Sohgol snapped an eight-race losing streak in the Hermosa Beach.

Hucking Hot, sixth in the Dahlia last time out, and She's an Eleven, coming off a third-place finish in a one-mile allowance Dec. 16, complete the field.

$150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 3, 1:03 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/8 MIles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. She's an Eleven (CA), 112, Tyler Baze
2. Sohgol (IRE), 115, David R. Flores
3. Wait a While (KY), 121, Garrett K. Gomez
4. Hucking Hot (GB), 113, Victor Espinoza
5. Lavender Sky (KY), 115, Alex O. Solis
6. Costume (GB), 115, Rafael Bejarano

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