The 3-year-old fillies have clashed in the stretch in each of their prior starts, both in graded company.
Stays in Vegas—a daughter of City Zip trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and owned by Jungle Racing, KMN Racing, and LNJ Foxwoods—took the first round May 7 in the one-mile Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park.
The second round, however, went to Agave Racing Stable and Little Red Feather Racing's Be Mine in the Honeymoon Stakes (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles, but it didn't come in victory. Longshot Cheekaboo outfinished both to win by a head, but Be Mine—a Twirling Candy filly trained by Phil D'Amato—nosed out her rival for second in a blanket finish.
Back at a mile for the San Clemente, the pair appears formidable again in the field of 11. Stays in Vegas, the only graded winner in the field, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite, and Be Mine is not far behind at 3-1.
Looming with potential beyond the top two choices is Team Valor International and Gary Barber's Belvoir Bay. The English-bred Equiano filly will have to overcome a nearly seven-month layoff, but couldn't have looked much better in her last start.
The Peter Miller trainee dominated in a 7 1/4-length score in the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita in December and will get the services of jockey Florent Geroux, who will ship in from the East to ride three for Miller, including Calculator in a Saturday allowance race.
The only other stakes winner scheduled to take part in the San Clemente is Mirage, and the field is completed by graded stakes-placed Mokat; stakes-placed runners Lady Valeur, Corps de Ballet, Princess Princess, and Sweet Queen; and allowance winners Jade Princess and Gone to Bali.
Del Mar, Saturday, July 23, 2016, Race 7
- 3 yo Fillies
- 5:03 PM (local)
|1||1Belvoir Bay (GB)||Florent Geroux||119||Peter Miller||4/1|
|2||2Lady Valeur (IRE)||Rafael Bejarano||117||Patrick Gallagher||8/1|
|3||3Be Mine (KY)||Flavien Prat||120||Philip D'Amato||3/1|
|4||4Corps de Ballet (KY)||Joseph Talamo||117||Simon Callaghan||20/1|
|5||5Jade Princess (KY)||Victor Espinoza||117||Bob Baffert||10/1|
|6||6Princess Princess (KY)||Gary L. Stevens||117||Ben Colebrook||20/1|
|98||7Sweet Queen (KY)||SCRATCHED||0||UNKNOWN||-|
|7||8Mirage (IRE)||Alonso Quinonez||119||Simon Callaghan||20/1|
|8||9Mokat (KY)||Kent J. Desormeaux||120||Richard Baltas||6/1|
|9||10Stays in Vegas (KY)||Alex O. Solis||122||Jerry Hollendorfer||5/2|
|10||11Gone to Bali (FL)||Tyler Baze||117||Jeff Mullins||20/1|