Maria Santa Stable's Peru-based filly Salama is being pointed to the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) following a second-place finish at Keeneland in her U.S. debut Oct. 10.
Now trained by Charlie LoPresti, the 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Desert Party rallied into the stretch in the $60,000 allowance/optional claimer to just miss winner Lavender Chrissie by three-quarters of a length at the Distaff distance of 1 1/8 miles.
It was the first start in 16 weeks for the filly whose victory in the Clasico Cesar del Rio (Per-III), a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race in Peru June 21, earned her a free entry into the Distaff. She arrived in LoPresti's barn July 27. Salama has compiled a record of 6-1-2 in nine starts.
"That was always the plan: to get a race in her rather than breeze up to a race of that caliber," LoPresti said of the Breeders' Cup. "It is tough enough as it is. The chart said she was getting to the winner. I wish she could have won by three-quarters of a length. She came out of the race well and was full of energy after the race."
Bred in Kentucky by Frankfort Park Farm, Salama was sold for $13,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale.
"She's a 3-year-old and she's done nothing wrong," LoPresti said. "The owners are realistic. She won a 'Win and You're In' race, so it is all paid for, so why not take a chance?"
Julien Leparoux, who has ridden five Breeders' Cup winners, was aboard Salama Saturday and is expected to have the mount in the Oct. 30 Distaff.
"That's the plan for him to ride her back," LoPresti said. "He liked her when he breezed her the first time (Oct. 1) and he liked her in the race."
"I imagine we will be 20-1 in there, but without Beholder in there, it could be anybody's race," LoPresti said in reference to the top older mare in the country who will challenge males in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) rather than the Distaff.