Beaten by just a half-length in her first try for a grade I victory in December, Amerman Racing's Balance got the job done in fine fashion Saturday, winning the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.
Folklore, the presumptive champion 2-year-old filly in 2005, proved vulnerable Monday at Santa Anita in her first start since capturing the Alberto VO5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Oct. 29. But owners Robert and Beverly Lewis still had reason to celebrate when entry mate Dance Daily held on to win the $150,000 Santa Ynez (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies during the Martin Luther King Day program.
Folklore, likely to be named last year's champion 2-year-old filly later this month, enjoys a huge class edge over five rivals in her 2006 debut on Monday in Santa Anita's $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) at seven furlongs.
Balance, a disqualification away from being undefeated, successfully made the transition from turf to dirt while rolling to a 1 3/4-length victory under jockey Victor Espinoza in Sunday's $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.
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