Florida-based Judy the Beauty heads a field of five for the $100,000 Las Flores Stakes (gr. III) March 9 at Santa Anita Park, her first start since the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) last fall.
Owned by Ward and bred in Ontario by Frank Stronach, grade II winner Judy the Beauty will be saddled by Blake Heap, Ward's longtime associate.
“She looks real good,” Heap said of the 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare who has never been out of the money in 13 starts, winning five and finishing second seven times. “We re-shod her here, she’s galloping over the track beautifully, she’s eating up, she acts good, she schooled in the paddock this morning; everything’s great.”
The stalking Judy the Beauty battled back gamely in deep stretch to just miss in the Breeders’ Cup at odds of 9-1, earning a 106 Beyer figure. The chestnut mare has five solid works on her tab at Gulfstream, the most recent a five-furlong move in 58.93 March 2.
The six-furlong main track event for older fillies and mares is race seven on Santa Anita's Sunday card with a 3:30 p.m. PDT scheduled start. The race also attacted La Brea Stakes (gr. I) winner Heir Kitty.
Trainer Peter Miller’s charge has raced once since springing a 13-1 upset in the Dec. 26 La Brea, running fourth in the Santa Monica Stakes (gr. I) a month later. The 4-year-old Wildcat Heir filly will be cutting back in distance from seven furlongs.
Based at San Luis Rey Downs, Heir Kitty has had three works since the Santa Monica, her most recent a five-furlong jaunt in 1:02 flat March 4. Owned by David Bernsen and Paul Makin, she has two wins and a second from three tries at six furlongs.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I)-winning trainer Barclay Tagg will be on hand to saddle Munnings Sister, a multiple stakes-winning 5-year-old mare by Speightstown . She comes off a minor stakes win going 5 1/2 furlongs in gate-to-wire fashion in 1:03 flat at Gulfstream Feb. 6.
Breaking from the rail, Munnings Sister blasted through fractions of :21.40, :43.80 and :56.20. She drew outside in the Las Flores and should be winging under Luis Saez, who has ridden her in her last two starts. Owned by Charles Fipke, she has four wins and three third place finishes from eight starts at six furlongs and has seven wins overall in 16 races.
Warm Breeze, trained by Grant Forster, has shipped in from New Orleans and is looking for her third consecutive win. A 4-year-old filly by Street Sense , Warm Breeze opened up from the rail and won the six-furlong Happy Ticket Stakes Feb. 1 at Fair Grounds, earning a career best 97 Beyer. Leandro Goncalves, who has been aboard for her last two wins, will ride back on Sunday.
A stakes winner sprinting on turf, trainer Pete Eurton’s Kinz Funky Monkey tries dirt for the first time. A 4-year-old Florida-bred filly by The Green Monkey, she weakened late to finish fifth, beaten three lengths, in a 6 1/2-furlong turf allowance at Santa Anita Jan. 31. Owned by Always Believe, she drew the rail.
$100,000 Las Flores Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, 3:30 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 6 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Kinz Funky Monkey (FL), J Talamo, 118, P Eurton
2. Warm Breeze (KY), L R Goncalves, 118, G T Forster
3. Judy the Beauty (ON), J R Velazquez, 123, W A Ward
4. Heir Kitty (FL), G L Stevens, 123, P Miller
5. Munnings Sister (KY), L Saez, 118, B Tagg