A full field of juvenile fillies will seek their first graded score in the $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 28 at Del Mar. Del Mar, Saturday, November 28, 2015, Race 5
The slight 7-2 morning-line favorite is Little Red Feather Racing and R/M Racing's lightly-raced but undefeated Speightstown filly Riri, who will be making her stakes debut in the mile turf event.
Trained by Phil D'Amato, Riri broke her maiden at first asking at Santa Anita Park Oct. 11, when she stalked and pounced racing 6 1/2 furlongs over the downhill turf course to win by 3 1/4 lengths. She followed that effort with another stalking score—this time by 3 3/4 lengths—in a mile optional claiming contest at Del Mar Nov. 6.
But Riri isn't the only D'Amato prospect in the field of 13. The trainer has four entered, including impressive debut winner Coppa. The Yesbyjimminy filly set the pace Nov. 1 in a 6 1/2-furlong dirt race at Del Mar and pulled away to win by 3 1/4 lengths.
Other apparent threats are last-out winners Jeremy's Legacy, Mokat, and D'Amato-trained Sutton's Smile, who all broke through in mile maiden turf races in Southern California recently. Jeremy's Legacy, a Jeremy filly trained by Doug O'Neill, won her U.S. debut Nov. 21 by 5 1/2 lengths and Mokat, a daughter of Uncle Mo trained by Richard Baltas, was victorious by the same margin Oct. 31. Sutton's Smile did even better, cruising to a 6 1/4-length victory Oct. 17 at Santa Anita.
The only fillies entering with graded experience are Sheeza Milky Way, who came in a distant seventh behind Songbird in the Chandelier (gr. I) Sept. 26 on dirt, and stakes-placed Mirage who finished a troubled eighth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT).
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Do the Dance (KY) Brice Blanc 118 Gary Sherlock 20/1 2 2Coppa (FL) Jose Lezcano 118 Philip D'Amato 6/1 3 3Riri (KY) Rafael Bejarano 118 Philip D'Amato 7/2 4 4Optimism And Hope (IRE) Mike E. Smith 118 Philip D'Amato 12/1 5 5Corps de Ballet (KY) Gary L. Stevens 118 Simon Callaghan 10/1 6 6Jeremy's Legacy (IRE) Mario Gutierrez 118 Doug F. O'Neill 9/2 7 7One Last Shot (KY) Fernando Hernandez Perez 118 Bob Baffert 20/1 8 8Sheeza Milky Way (KY) Alonso Quinonez 118 Peter Eurton 20/1 9 9Wake the Dawn (KY) Joseph Talamo 118 Kristin Mulhall 20/1 10 10Mokat (KY) Corey S. Nakatani 118 Richard Baltas 6/1 11 11Sutton's Smile (KY) Victor Espinoza 118 Philip D'Amato 8/1 12 12Family Meeting (FL) Drayden Van Dyke 118 Thomas F. Proctor 12/1 13 13Mirage (IRE) Tyler Baze 118 Simon Callaghan 8/1
Del Mar, Saturday, November 28, 2015, Race 5