Executiveprivilege Puts Unbeaten Mark on Line
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 9/26/2012 8:03:46 PM
Last Updated: 9/29/2012 2:12:32 PM
Executiveprivilege is a perfect 4 for 4 in her career.
Executiveprivilege, undefeated in four starts for trainer Bob Baffert, makes her dirt debut in the $250,000 Chandelier Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 29 at Santa Anita Park.
The Chandelier was inaugurated in 1969 as the Oak Leaf Stakes by the Oak Tree Racing Association. The race, now named for an exclusive area in the Santa Anita Turf Club, is one of several renamed for the current meet by Santa Anita, which now operates the autumn stand.
Baffert had seven prior Oak Leaf wins, the most recent coming in 2007 with Cry and Catch Me. The 59-year-old Hall of Fame conditioner handles Executiveprivilege, a $650,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders' sale of 2-year-olds in training in April, for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman. The bay daughter of First Samurai was bred in Kentucky and is out of the graded stakes-placed mare Refugee, by Unaccounted For.
Executiveprivilege will not only be trying dirt for the first time, she'll be making her first effort around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile Chandelier.
She was fortunate to keep her undefeated streak alive in winning the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) on Polytrack Sept. 1. Racing extremely wide while drifting out in the final furlong she got the nod at the wire, nosing out pacesetting Beholder, who also returns in this spot.
The Chandelier, for 2-year-old fillies, is among five grade I "Win and You’re In" Breeders' Cup Challenge Races to be decided Saturday at Santa Anita, the second day of the track's 24-day Breeders' Cup World Championship meet that ends Nov. 4.
Winners of the challenge races will be entitled to have pre-entry and entry fees waived for their respective Breeders' Cup races, provided they are Breeders' Cup-nominated by the Oct. 22 pre-entry deadline. The Chandelier winner would gain automatic entry into the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
The Chandelier is Race 6 on the busy Saturday afternoon with a scheduled 3:36 p.m. PDT post.
Executiveprivilege has been odds-on in each of her victories and figures to be a stout favorite once again while facing 10 opponents. In addition to her Debutante win, she captured the Sorrento (gr. III) at Del Mar and the Landaluce at Betfair Hollywood Park after taking her debut June 28 against maidens at Hollywood.
Rafael Bejarano will be aboard the bay filly, who breaks from post 7. Executiveprivilege has worked twice at Santa Anita since the Debutante, most recently recording a six-furlong move in 1:13 4/5 Sept. 23.
Beholder, trained by Richard Mandella for Spendthrift Farm, nearly upset the Debutante at 8-1 odds despite hitting the gate at the start. Garrett Gomez once again be aboard the swift daughter of Henny Hughes who broke her maiden in her second start by 3 1/4 lengths July 22 at Del Mar.
Out of the Tricky Creek mare Leslie's Lady, Beholder was a $180,000 Keeneland yearling. Mandella's only win in the Oak Leaf came in 2003 with Halfbridled. She went on to win the BC Juvenile Fillies and earn an Eclipse Award.
Shipping in from Florida is Salamera, last seen running second to Kauai Katie in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 12. Trained by Rodolfo Garcia for Tanourin Stable, the gray/roan daughter of Successful Appeal won the J J'sdream at Calder Casino & Race Course before that. Salamera races without Lasix.
Other stakes winners in the field are Renee's Queen, who captured the one-mile Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf on grass at Del Mar Sept. 3, and Butterfly Soul, who took down the Phil D. Shepherd Sept. 14 at Fairplex Park. Iowa-bred Contessa's Moment makes her first start for Paul Aguirre after taking the Iowa Sorority at Prairie Meadows at 36-1 odds Aug. 4.
Scarlet Strike comes off a an eye-catching maiden win over one mile at Del Mar Sept. 2 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The daughter of Smart Strike rallied from 17 lengths off the pace after four furlongs to get up by a half-length as the favorite.
Others that deserve consideration are Switch to the Lead and Miss Empire.
Switch to the Lead, trained by Patrick Biancone, will race without blinkers following a seventh-place finish against males in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I). Cinderella winner Miss Empire, who drew the far outside, comes off a fourth in the Debutante for trainer Peter Miller after running third against males in the Best Pal (gr. II).
$250,000 Chandelier Stakes (gr. I, Race 6, 3:36 p.m.), 2YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Majestic Minister (KY), A T Gryder, M Puype
2. Renee's Queen (KY), M Garcia, E J Guillot
3. Switch to the Lead (KY), V Espinoza, P L Biancone
4. Wittgenstein (IRE), M Gutierrez, D F O'Neill
5. Beholder (KY), G K Gomez, R E Mandella
6. Butterfly Soul (NY), J Carreno, G Vallejo
7. Executiveprivilege (KY), R Bejarano, B Baffert
8. Scarlet Strike (KY), J Talamo, J Hollendorfer
9. Salamera (FL), A Castillo, R Garcia
10. Contessa's Moment (IA), I Puglisi, P G Aguirre
11. Miss Empire (KY), M A Pedroza, P Miller
All carry 122 pounds.
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