Landaluce Stakes winner She's a Tiger faces six precocious juvenile fillies in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 7 at Del Mar. Wednesday's program is also significant due to the return of two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Garrett Gomez.
Gomez is named on three mounts in his first action since July 14, but must pass a California Horse Racing Board drug test due to medications he is taking to counteract anxiety and other issues. Gomez was conditionally cleared to ride by Del Mar stewards Aug. 2.
Unbeaten She's a Tiger is a half-sister to recently retired three-time grade I winner Smiling Tiger . Racing for Mark Dedomenico, Allen Aldrich, Lisa Hernandez, and Stuart Downey, the daughter of Tale of the Cat won the Landaluce by three-quarters of a length as a 3-5 favorite July 13 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The speedy filly is now 2-for-2 for trainer Jeff Bonde after debuting with a nine-length maiden tally at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton June 22. She is yet to be headed at any call.
"She's been training excellent. I hope she runs a big one again," Bonde said.
Frank Alvarado is once again aboard She's a Tiger, who drew post 4 while toting top weight of 123 pounds.
Bred in Kentucky by Dr. Rodney Orr, She's a Tiger out of the stakes-winning Cahill Road mare Shandra Smiles. She was a $150,000 purchase by Mersad Metanovic Bloodstock at the 2012 Keeneland September sale from the Warrendale Sales consignment.
In the 6 1/2-furlong Sorrento she will Landaluce runner-up E Equalsmcsquared, stakes-placed Northern California shipper Side Letter, and four others coming off maiden victories. The Sorrento, which was improved from a grade III this season, is race 7 on the card with a scheduled post time of 5:10 p.m. PDT. It is a major steppingstone to Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) Aug. 31.
Gomez, who was fined $1,000 for missing mounts last month at Hollywood Park, is set to start his Del Mar campaign with a pair of mounts for trainer Peter Miller and one for Dean Pederson. He is to ride Summer Exclusive for Miller in the first race, an allowance/optional claiming event, Go First for Pederson in race 2, a maiden special weight, and on Amy Jane in the fourth, another maiden special weight, for Miller.
$150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. 11, Race 7, 5:10 p.m.), 2YO fillies, 6 1/2 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Side Letter (KY), E A Maldonado, 119, P Miller
2. Concave (ON), M Gutierrez, 119. D F O'Neill
3. E Equalsmcsquared (KY), M E Smith, 117, J E Kruljac
4. She's a Tiger (KY), F T Alvarado, 123, J Bonde
5. Stop Smiling (FL), J R Leparoux, 119, J Hollendorfer
6. Santa Lucia (KY), S Gonzalez Jr., 117, J O'Hara
7. Love Smitten (KY), S Arias, 119, D F O'Neill