A pair of graded stakes on the Cushion Track for females, the $150,000 Milady Handicap (gr. II) and the $100,000 Railbird Stakes (gr. III), highlight an 11-race Preakness Day program at Hollywood Park May 21.
St Trinians, looking for her first win since taking the Santa Maria Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita in February 2010, is the 119-pound highweight for the Milady, a 1 1/16-mile test for fillies and mares that goes as the fifth race at 1:03 p.m. PDT. The Railbird, for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs, is led by grade III winner May Day Rose. It is the 10th on the card at 4:30 p.m. PDT.
Trained by Mike Mitchell for owners Dan Capen and Laura Chavers, 6-year-old St Trinians has raced just four times since her win in the Santa Maria 15 months ago. The British-bred daughter of Piccolo returns to the track where she nearly upset Horse of the Year Zenyatta in the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) last June. She led Zenyatta in deep stretch that day after making a powerful wide move to grab the lead, but was edged in the closing strides by the superstar mare by a half-length.
St Trinians has been out twice this year, beginning the season with a third-place finish in the 2011 Santa Maria as the 4-5 choice Feb. 12. She returned to Santa Anita one month later to run fourth behind the victorious Miss Match in the Santa Margarita Stakes (gr. I). Joe Talamo, who was aboard the bay mare in both of those efforts, retains the mount and they will break from post 5. St Trinians has finished in the money in 12 of 15 starts in her career, winning seven times while banking $344,587.
California-bred Ultra Blend has been tearing up state-restricted stakes races for trainer Art Sherman, winning four of her past five starts. She returns to open graded company for the first time since the 2009 Railbird, in which she finished fourth. Like the favorite, Nels Erickson's 5-year-old daughter of Richly Blended has been remarkably consistent, finishing in the money in 18 of 20 lifetime starts while winning nine. The bay mare leads the field in earnings with $535,646 and will be ridden for the first time by David Flores.
Her regular rider, Joel Rosario, turns up on Tanda, who drew the rail for Dan Hendricks. Tommy Hutton's Dream Stable's 4-year-old, winner of last year's Railbird, has raced just once since finishing third in Belmont Park's Acorn Stakes (gr. I) last June. That came in a fourth-place finish in the Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita's hillside turf course April 9.
“She had a chip taken out of her ankle after (the Acorn),” Hendricks said. Her return was delayed by foot problems.
“She’s been working super for this race,” said Hendricks, delighted with a five-furlong bullet work in :59 1/5 May 14.
Washington Bridge, winner of the Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) at the Milady distance over the Cushion Track in December, returns to her favorite course following a third-place finish in Keeneland's Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) on Polytrack April 22. Newly elected Racing Hall of Fame member Jerry Hollendorfer trains and co-owns the 4-year-old Yankee Gentleman filly along with Mark Dedomenico.
In the Senorita, Kaleem Shah's May Day Rose drew the far outside post for trainer Bob Baffert in her first start since leading all the way en route to a three-quarter-length victory in the Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn Park April 16. Rosario has the call on the Rockport Harbor miss for the first time. May Day Rose won the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita in January and carries 121 pounds in the Railbird.
Alec's Moon, from the Hollendorfer barn, won a pair of stakes at Portland Meadows earlier this year and is coming off a third in the Golden Poppy Stakes on the turf at Golden Gate Fields April 16.
Big Tiz, a daughter of Tiznow trained by Mark Glatt, ran second to Turbulent Descent in last December's Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) at odds of 37-1. In her only start since, she finished second April 24 in a first-level allowance tilt at 6 1/2 furlongs after getting the lead in the stretch.
The filly that ran her down that day, the Sherman-trained Pedaltothemedal, is also in the Railbird field for Ackerman Stables. The Medallist filly made her seasonal debut in the win.
The special Preakness program gets underway with first post at 11 a.m. PDT.
$150,000 Milady Handicap (gr. II, Race 5, 1:03 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Tanda (FL), J Rosario, 117, D L Hendricks
2. Washington Bridge (KY), R Bejarano, 117, J Hollendorfer
3. Church Camp (KY), T Baze, 115, B J Koriner
4. She's Cheeky (KY), B Blanc, 113, P Eurton
5. St Trinians (GB), J Talamo, 119, M R Mitchell
6. American Story (KY), A Quinonez, 114, B Baffert
7. Ultra Blend (CA), D R Flores, 118, A Sherman
8. Makoma (KY), C Sutherland, 112, J A Shirreffs
$100,000 Railbird Stakes (gr. III, Race 10, 4:30 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Alec's Moon (KY), T Baze, 121, J Hollendorfer
2. Pedaltothemedal (KY), J Talamo, 117, A Sherman
3. Spectacular Sky (KY), C Sutherland, 115, M F Jones
4. Orientatious (KY), R Bejarano, 115, M Puype
5. Advantage Player (KY), A Felix, 115, P Miller
6. Big Tiz (KY), P A Valenzuela, 115, M Glatt
7. Hout Bay (KY), A Quinonez, 115, J W Sadler
8. Warren's Flyer (CA), M A Pedroza, 117, J Gutierrez
9. May Day Rose (FL), J Rosario, 121, B Baffert