Affluent Favored in El Encino
Updated: Sunday, January 20, 2002 10:14 PM
From Santa Anita Park
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2002 4:53 PM
Although multiple grade I winner Affluent will be a deserving morning-line favorite in Sunday's grade II El Encino Stakes, it wouldn't be prudent to discount Graceful Cat's chances in the 1 1/16-mile event for 4-year-old fillies.
A Washington-bred by Forest Wildcat, Graceful Cat began her career last year with three wins in six starts, including a pair of stakes wins, at Emerald Downs near Seattle. Graceful Cat finished seventh in her Southern California debut Dec. 29 in the grade I La Brea Stakes, but trainer Craig Dollase looks for an improved effort this weekend.
"She needed that race," Dollase said. "I kind of had to rush her a bit to get her ready for that one, and I was pleased with her effort. She's prepped well for this one."
Graceful Cat came back Jan.11 to drill four furlongs at Hollywood Park in a bullet :47.40.
The field for the grade II El Encino Stakes, from the rail out, with jockeys, and weights: Castling, Kent Desormeaux, 115; Royally Chosen, Alex Solis, 117; Love At Noon, Corey Nakatani, 115; Graceful Cat, Laffit Pincay Jr., 117; Sea Reel, Garrett Gomez, 117, and Affluent, Eddie Delahoussaye, 119.
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