Champion Wait a While had to, well, wait a while for her seasonal bow, but everything now appears set for the 5-year-old's 2008 debut in the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) Jan. 14 on the Santa Anita grass course.
Grade I winners Romance Is Diane and Tough Tiz's Sis, the respective first two finishers in last month's Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II), tangle once more in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 13.
With heavy rain expected in Southern California this weekend, multiple grade I winner Wait a While leads a field of six set for Santa Anita's $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) scheduled for the turf Jan. 6.
Led by standout fillies Nashoba's Key and Citronnade, the line-up for $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park turf Dec. 16 appears especially tough. The question is whether the leading contenders will run.
Garrett Gomez won his 70th stakes of the year aboard Hucking Hot in the $68,650 Audrey Skirball-Kenis Stakes at Hollywood Park Nov. 11, tying Jerry Bailey for most stakes wins by a jockey in a single season. Bailey set the mark in 2003.
Silver Swallow, second to eventual Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), will try to avenge a narrow loss to Railbird Stakes (gr. III) winner Ashley's Kitty when the pair meet in Sunday's $150,000 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
Octave and Mistical Plan are set for a rematch in the $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 7, going 1 1/16 miles over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland Race Course. In addition to Octave and Mistical Plan, seven other fillies, including High Again and Christmas Kid, are expected in the starting gate.
Romance Is Diane drew away from the field at the head of the stretch to post a major upset in the $459,250 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I), giving jockey David Flores his fifth win Sunday and providing a measure of satisfaction for winning trainer Mike Mitchell.
Runway Rosie goes for her third successive victory with the services of the country's leading money-winning jockey in Garrett Gomez when she faces her toughest career test in Sunday's $459,250 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
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