Team Valor's Bella Bella Bella has bent sent off favored in both her career starts and that trend will likely continue in Sunday's $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III). Golden Ballet Stakes winner Bella Bella Bella will face just three rivals -- one per Bella -- in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel, two maiden winners and the maiden Gaslamp Girl.
No Turbulence may have the best shot at the upset as Bella Bella Bella tries two turns for the first time. In her maiden win at Hollywood Park in December, No Turbulence pressed quick fractions then drew clear to a nine-length win in a seven-furlong race. The Washington-bred daughter of Skywalker also will be going two turns for the first time, but may have the pace advantage, as the other three horses have been off-the-pace types thus far.
The possible pace scenario worries trainer Jerry Dutton, who conditions Tamarack Bay.
"(A small field) is OK if you've got a couple boiling up front," said Dutton. "Because my filly won't be (on the lead), she'll make a run from off the pace. I know she can get the distance, but since I haven't had a chance to run her since Oak Tree, we'll have to see how she goes."
Tamarack Bay (Dehere--Gee Toto, by Slew o' Gold) is the only previous route winner in the field, that win coming at a mile at Santa Anita in late October. She is unraced since that 5 1/2-length win.
Gaslamp Girl will be swinging back from a fourth-pace finish in a maiden-claiming race on Dec. 29.
The Santa Ysabel is the first in a series of prep races leading up to the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I, March 9).
Later on the card, 13 3-year-old colts are entered in the one-mile Hill Rise Stakes to be run on the turf course. Only 10 will run in this over-subscribed event.
The Santa Ysabel field, from the rail out, will consist of:
1 -- No Turbulence, Kent Desormeaux, 113
2 -- Tamarack Bay, Alex Solis, 113
3 -- Bella Bella Bella, Chris McCarron, 115
4 -- Gaslamp Girl, Victor Espinoza, 113