Emmy Darling, in the midst of a five-race tailspin following a seventh-place finish as the favorite in the Sunshine Millions Oaks only days ago, will try her luck on Santa Anita's hillside turf course in the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 1.
The La Habra, at about 6 1/2 furlongs, will be the feature on a nine-race program that will begin at 11 a.m., 1 1/2 hours earlier than usual, in deference to the Super Bowl with its scheduled kickoff of 3:28 p.m. (PST). The probable post for the La Habra, which drew a full field of 12 3-year-old fillies, is 2:37 p.m.
A Florida-bred daughter of Graeme Hall trained by John Sadler for Ike and Dawn Thrash, Emmy Darling has an experience edge on most of ther rivals. This will be her first try over the unique grass layout, however.
Emmy Darling has raced well in two previous efforts on turf while going one mile. She placed fifth in Oak Tree’s $1.15 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Oct. 24. A month later, she finished fourth in Hollywood Park’s Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT), just three-quarters of a length behind victorious Habaya.
Jockey Victor Espinoza takes over on Emmy Darling, who has earned $124,090 from a 1-1-1 record in seven starts, her only win coming in Hollywood Park’s Landaluce Stakes last June.
In the Sunshine Millions Oaks Jan. 24, Emmy Darling was never a factor while racing five wide into the lane and wound up 5 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Beltene.
Rafael Bejarano, who rode Emmy Darling in her last three starts, has the mount on Acting Lady for trainer Doug O’Neill. The daughter of Theatrical will be shortening up in distance after running fifth in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles.
Acting Lady's only victory in five races is a maiden score under Bejarano at one mile on turf at Hollywood Park in November. She followed that effort with a third-place showing in Santa Anita's one-mile Blue Norther Dec. 28, also on the grass.
The La Habra field includes a pair of smart first-out maiden winners.
Garrett Gomez will be back aboard the Peter Miller-trained Ready Steady Gone, a More Than Ready filly who captured her first win over the downhill layout on Dec. 27 for Gary and Cecil Barber.
Alex Solis has the return call atop Miss Silver Buck, who won her debut for trainer Julio Canani at six furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface on Jan. 11. The gray filly, owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, is bred for the turf, being a daughter of Cozzene.
James Cassidy enters a pair of imports. The Irish-bred Pasar Silbano, owned by Three Chimneys Racing, was a four-time winner in her native country who makes her second start in the United States. Pasar Silbano, to be ridden by Mike Smith, ran seventh in the Moccasin Stakes on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track Nov. 16.
Doughnut, a British-bred bay owned by Deron Pearson, makes her first U.S. start and will have David Flores at the controls. The daughter of Acclamation ran seventh in a group III event at Ascot in her most recent start Oct. 11. She has raced nine times, all on the turf, winning twice.
Also entered in the La Habra are Broadway Hennessey, False Impression, Jemmealey, Real Fancy Runnerand Shantika's Dream.
$100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 2:37 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Pasar Silbano (IRE), 122, Mike E. Smith
2. Shantika's Dream (WA), 116, Chantal Sutherland
3. Gold Goddess (CA), 116, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
4. Doughnut (GB), 116, David R. Flores
5. Ready Steady Gone (KY), 116, Garrett K. Gomez
6. Acting Lady (KY), 116, Rafael Bejarano
7. False Impression (KY), 116, Brice Blanc
8. Broadway Hennessey (KY), 116, Joel Rosario
9. Emmy Darling (FL), 122, Victor Espinoza
10. Jemmealey (FL), 116, Tyler Baze
11. Real Fancy Runner (KY), 116, Joseph Talamo
12. Miss Silver Brook (KY), 116, Alex O. Solis