Bendable will return to action in the Desert Stormer Stakes

Bendable will return to action in the Desert Stormer Stakes

Benoit Photo

Bendable Returns for Desert Stormer at Santa Anita

Richard Mandella-trained filly will make her first start since October.

Claiborne Farm's Bendable has yet to give a poor account of herself.

In five starts she's won three races—including an upset victory over then-undefeated Enola Gray in the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course—and has yet to finish out of the top three.

But after her third-place effort behind multiple graded winners Irish Jasper and Stonetastic in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland Oct. 8, she came out of the race with a fractured splint bone.

"We've got that healed up now and we're hoping she comes back the same as she went out," trainer Richard Mandella said of the Horse Greeley filly's scheduled 4-year-old debut June 18 in the $100,000 Desert Stormer Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park. "But you never know until you race them."

In her second graded start, however, Bendable will have her class tested once again, this time from Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman's Pretty N Cool, the three-time graded winner who came in second behind By the Moon last time out May 5 in the Vagrancy Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park for trainer Bob Baffert. By the Moon went on to win the June 9 Bed o' Roses Invitational Stakes (G3) back at Belmont. Before that Pretty N Cool took the Las Flores Stakes (G3) March 5 in her 4-year-old debut.

BALAN: Pretty N Cool Takes Las Flores Stakes

Adding to the intrigue in the field of five is an invader from the north and a pair of graded stakes performers looking to break through.

Invested Prospect is the out-of-towner, and the Blaine Wright-trained Abraaj filly is riding a four-race win streak, split between starts in Northern California and Emerald Downs. The speedy filly won her optional-claiming 2017 debut at Emerald Downs April 23, when she opened up a clear lead and cruised to a five-length victory.

Bellamentary and Coniah are both multiple graded stakes-placed, but have yet to score a graded victory. Coniah came close last time out May 27, when she ran second, a half-length behind grade 1 winner Illuminant in the Monrovia Stakes (G2T) sprinting down the Santa Anita hillside turf course. Two starts back, the Harlington filly was a nose second to Paquita Coqueta in the Mizdirection Stakes down the hill. Her last dirt win came in September, when she took a 6 1/2-furlong conditional optional-claiming allowance at Belmont Park for former trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Entries: Desert Stormer S. (G3)

Santa Anita Park, Sunday, June 18, 2017, Race 4

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 2:30 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Invested Prospect (WA)Tyler Baze122Blaine D. Wright4/1
22Coniah (CA)Kent J. Desormeaux122William E. Morey4/1
33Bellamentary (KY)Flavien Prat122Philip D'Amato7/2
44Pretty N Cool (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin Garcia126Bob Baffert9/5
55Bendable (KY)Mike E. Smith122Richard E. Mandella5/2