Wishing Gate won the San Clemente Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths on July 21.

Wishing Gate won the San Clemente Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths on July 21.

Benoit Photo

Wishing Gate Heads Full Field in Autumn Miss

Del Mar Oaks runner-up likely choice in one-mile grass test for sophomore fillies.

Wishing Gate, second in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. I) this summer, heads a well-matched field of 11 sophomore fillies in the $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes (gr. IIIT) at one mile on turf Oct. 26 at Santa Anita Park.

Ridden by the now inactive Garrett Gomez at Del Mar, Wishing Gate charged up the rail to be beaten three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks Aug. 17. She’ll shorten up a furlong and be reunited with Gary Stevens, who guided the Florida-bred daughter of Indian Charlie to a 1 3/4-length win two starts back in the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) July 21.

Owned by her breeder, Glen Hill Farm, and trained by Tom Proctor, Wishing Gate has three wins and a second at a mile on grass. Based at Betfair Hollywood Park, she has a steady series of drills for her return to Santa Anita Saturday in the Autumn Miss, race 8 on the program with a 4:30 p.m. PT expected post. In her lone try over the Santa Anita grass, Wishing Gate was second in the one-mile Surfer Girl Stakes more than a year ago.

In nine career starts, Wishing Gate has three wins and three seconds with earnings of $245,344. She breaks from post 10 carrying co-high weight of 122 pounds.

Proctor will also saddle outsider Include the Aussie, who won a mile turf allowance Aug. 25 at Del Mar and was most recently eighth in the 6 1/2-furlong Unzip Me Stakes Sept. 28.

Need You Now, who set the pace and tired to finish sixth, beaten five lengths in the Del Mar Oaks, also rates a big chance in the Autumn Miss for trainer Mike Mitchell. She’ll be reunited with Julien Leparoux, who pressed the pace and guided her to an impressive  2 3/4-length score two starts back in the Le Cle Stakes at one mile July 7 at Hollywood Park.

Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Need You Now will be making her fifth stateside start this season after beginning her career at 2 in Great Britain.

Flashy Ways, a daughter of Catienus, is making her first start since the nine-furlong Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 6 at Santa Anita, where she closed well after a wide trip to finish fourth. Trained by Richard Baltas for Riley Racing Stables, she defeated Wishing Gate in last year's Surfer Girl before finishing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT). Joe Talamo has the mount on Flashy Ways, who will add blinkers.

English-bred Charlie Em was victorious in her U.S. debut for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners in the one-mile Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 11 at Hollywood. Winless in four subsequent outs, she comes off a third-place finish to Eclipse champion Beholder in the one mile Torrey Pines Stakes on Del Mar's Polytrack Sept. 1. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Charlie Em will also carry 122 pounds and be ridden for the first time by Corey Nakatani.

Although she was never a factor down the hill in the Unzip Me, Heir Kitty would benefit from a fast pace with Rafael Bejarano engaged to ride for the first time. Trained by Peter Miller for owners David Bernsen and Paul Makin, the Wildcat Heir lass will be making her third start after a six-month freshening. This will be her second try on grass after a fast-closing fifth in the one-mile Blue Norther at Santa Anita in January.

Miller will also send out stakes-winning Miss Empire, who comes off a fifth-place finish in the restricted Swingtime Stakes over one mile on turf at Santa Anita Oct. 5.

Deron Pearson's Oscar Party was second to Pure Fun on a sloppy track in the Indiana Oaks (gr. II) Oct. 5 for trainer James Cassidy and gets back on turf, where the daughter of Dixie Union has won two of seven starts.

$100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:30 p.m.), 3YO fillies, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Heir Kitty (FL), R Bejarano, 117, P Miller
2. Caraquista (KY), A Delgadillo, 117, J Bonde
3. Miss Empire (KY), E A Maldonado, 117, P Miller
4. Wittgenstein (IRE), M Gutierrez, 117, D F O'Neill
5. Oscar Party (KY), D R Flores, 117, J M Cassidy
6. Include the Aussie (KY), F H Perez, 117, T F Proctor
7. Flashy Ways (KY), J Talamo, 117, R Baltas
8. Charlie Em (GB), C S Nakatani, 122, P Gallagher
9. Need You Now (IRE), J R Leparoux, 117, M R Mitchell
10. Wishing Gate (FL), G L Stevens, 122, T F Proctor
11. Journey On (CA), M A Pedroza, 117, D F O'Neill
Also Eligibles:
12. Ighraa (IRE), V Espinoza, 117, S Callaghan
13. Becky Lou (KY), J Couton, 117, M Chew
Blinkers On: Flashy Ways