New York invader Franny Freud, a three-time stakes winner in 2009, makes her West Coast debut in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) as the 123-pound high weight Jan. 16 at Santa Anita.
The Santa Ynez, for 3-year-old fillies on the Pro-Ride main track, drew a small field of six. It is one of three graded stakes on the Santa Anita program, including the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds, and the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-olds.
Though the field is small, the Santa Ynez, at seven furlongs, should be competitive. Other top contenders are Amen Hallelujah, third in last month's Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., and She's Funomenal, who won both of her starts impressively in 2009 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Franny Freud has been under the supervision of Bob Baffert on the West Coast. The New York-bred bay won four of six starts and nearly $300,000 as a 2-year-old for trainer John Terranova III. Among her victories was a half-length triumph over Negligee in the Ontario Debutante at Woodbine Aug. 15. Negligee went on to win the Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) at Keeneland last fall.
Owned by Paul Pompa Jr., Winter Park Partners and Stephen Yarbrough, Franny Freud last raced in the filly division of the New York Stallion Stakes Nov. 15, winning by five lengths. Garrett Gomez will be aboard the daughter of Freud for the first time. They will break from post 2.
She worked six furlongs on Pro-Ride Jan. 10 in a bullet 1:12.80 with Gomez aboard.
Amen Hallelujah, also based in the East, led into the stretch of the Hollywood Starlet Dec. 20 only to wind up beaten by nearly eight lengths when Blind Luck blew past her rivals in the stretch. Owned by IEAH Stables and Whizway Farms, the Florida-bred daughter of Montbrook also ran third in the Alcibiades and should appreciate shortening up for her first start of the 2010 season.
Chantal Sutherland takes over the ride on Amen Hallelujah, who compiled a 2-1-2 record in six starts as a juvenile and earned $132,370.
Undefeated She’s Funomenal, owned by Summit Racing, STD Racing Stable, Hollendorfer, et al, is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus that won a restricted stakes in her most recent start on Dec. 13 at Hollywood Park, covering 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.80. The winning margin was three-quarters of a length.
That followed a smart maiden score on Nov. 15 at Hollywood. She won by 5 1/2 lengths and went 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.70 while defeating eight rivals.
“She had trained really well from the beginning for her debut,” said Bob Ike of Summit Racing. “She came to us around the Del Mar meet. Hollendorfer and his partners owned her, and sold us a piece. We brought in STD Racing (Steve and David Kenly of Paradise Valley, Ariz.). We thought she was a good filly, but you never know until they run.”
Joel Rosario, who has been aboard She’s Funomenal in her first two starts, has the call for the Santa Ynez.
Baffert entered Seriously, who comes off a third-place finish, three-quarters of a length behind She’s Funomenal, in the stakes at Hollywood. The Gulch filly broke her maiden at Fairplex Park in September, her lone win in six starts to date.
Whispering Hush was scratched out of last weekend's Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) by trainer Eric Kruljac in favor of the shorter race. The California-bred daughter of El Corredor is twice stakes-placed and ran fifth in the Miesque (gr. IIIT) on the grass in her last start at Hollywood Nov. 29.
Switch broke her maiden at first asking by two lengths Dec. 13 at Hollywood and the Quiet American miss steps directly into stakes company for trainer John Sadler.
$150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II, Race 5, 2:34 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Seriously (KY), V Espinoza, 114, B Baffert
2. Franny Freud (NY), G K Gomez, 123, J P Terranova, II
3. Whispering Hush (CA), M E Smith, 114, J E Kruljac
4. Amen Hallelujah (FL), C Sutherland, 114, R E Dutrow, Jr.
5. She's Funomenal (KY), J Rosario, 116, J Hollendorfer
6. Switch (KY), R Bejarano, 114, J W Sadler