Eleven sophomore fillies will have a chance to win their first graded stakes in the $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 27 on the Santa Anita Park turf.
The Autumn Miss replaces the Harold C. Ramser Stakes on the Santa Anita stakes schedule as the Arcadia, Calif. track continues to cut its ties with the Oak Tree Racing Association. The one-mile Autumn Miss is the eighth race on the Saturday card with a 4:38 p.m. PDT scheduled post.
In a highly contentious race, Mercedes Stable's Lady Ten should vie for favoritism. Trainer Bob Baffert's Rock Hard Ten filly has not been out of the money in 10 lifetime starts, including three wins and five seconds. She picked up her first stakes victory in the one-mile Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar Aug. 17.
In her only start since, Lady Ten closed willingly in the Swingtime Stakes, also at one mile, after a stalking trip to finish one length behind A Jealous Woman on the Santa Anita lawn Oct. 6. Rafael Bejarano has the mount on the bay filly breaking from post 6.
But she is just one of several with a big shot in here. Charm the Maker could not hold off Byrama in the hillside Unzip Me Stakes Sept. 29 after getting the lead in the stretch. She'll be stretching out a bit for her trainer, Ron McAnally, and should be stronger in her second start since a fourth-place in the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) over the course in April. Brice Blanc has the call for McAnally, who trains the Empire Maker filly for his wife, Debbie.
Although she’ll break from the extreme outside, Glen Hill Farm’s Customer Base figures to be taken off the pace early and will hope to save ground and come running late under Garrett Gomez. Trained by Tom Proctor, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Lemon Drop Kid rallied from far off the pace in the Sandy Blue last time to lose by one length to Lady Ten while finishing fifth.
Reunited with Gomez, who won with her at Del Mar July 27, Customer Base will need some pace to run at in the Autumn Miss.
Best Present Ever ran third in the American Oaks (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park July 14 following a stakes win at Golden Gate Fields a month earlier. She weakened to finish ninth after vying on the lead in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Aug. 18, but rebounded to be second in a division of the California Cup Distaff last time out. Trainer Eric Kruljac taps leading rider Joe Talamo for the mount.
Open Water ran a game third in the Del Mar Oaks at 25-1 after leading in the stretch for trainer Eric Guillot. She is back in Southern California and training well after a fifth-place effort in the Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Sept. 15. The daughter of Include will have Martin Garcia aboard.
This could also be a good spot for a newcomer to jump up, such as Wertheimer and Frere's homebred Perfecta. Trained by Richard Mandella, the lightly raced Pleasantly Perfect lass is making her stakes debut after back-to-back wins on the Del Mar turf in August.
Ran Jan racing's Vionnet returned from a seven-month layoff to capture a first-level allowance as the favorite for trainer Mike Puype over the course and distance Oct. 11. The gray/roan daughter of Street Sense was second in both the Sweet Life and China Doll stakes at Santa Anita before going to the sidelines. She'll have the rail post with Mike Smith aboard.
$100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:38 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Vionnet (KY), M E Smith. M Puype
2. Viva Carina (ARG), E A Maldonado, A C Avila
3. Charm the Maker (KY), B Blanc, R L McAnally
4. Curvy Cat (CA), T Baze, J Hollendorfer
5. Jolly Days (KY), J Valdivia Jr., P Gallagher
6. Lady Ten (KY), R Bejarano, B Baffert
7. Perfecta (KY), C S Nakatani, R E Mandella
8. Double Ante (KY), V Espinoza, A Sherman
9. Best Present Ever (CA), J Talamo, J E Kruljac
10. Open Water (KY), M Garcia, E J Guillot
11. Customer Base (KY), G K Gomez, 117, T F Proctor
All carry 117 pounds.