Mrs Kipling, on the comeback trail following a disappointing effort in the American Oaks (gr. IT), returns to action against 10 rivals in Oak Tree's $100,000 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park Oct. 24.
In the one-mile turf event for 3-year-olds, Mrs Kipling and grade II winner Starlarks are the top weights in an evenly matched field. Irish-bred Mrs Kipling is trained by Neil Drysdale for celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
Following a close second in the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) in her American debut and a smart 2 1/2-length triumph in Hollywood Park's Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT), Mrs Kipling was well backed in the American Oaks at Hollywood July 5. But she tired badly after a wide trip to finish 12th of 14 in the 1 1/4-mile international test won by Gozzip Girl.
A daughter of Exceed and Excel, Mrs Kipling has been working well and carries 118 pounds for her return. Regular rider David Flores is aboard, breaking from post six.
At 119 is the Paddy Gallagher-trained Starlarks, upset winner of Del Mar's San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 1 by a nose over Ramser rival Strawberry Tart. Owned by Dolantori Racing, the Irish-bred filly was overpowered by Internallyflawless in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT), finishing sixth while closing to within 2 1/2 lengths of the winner. Starlarks has won twice in eight U.S. starts and will be ridden by Alex Soils.
Four competitors were assigned 117, including Strawberry Tart, who won a pair of stakes at Hollywood Park but has lost three straight since for trainer Jeff Bonde. She was sixth in the California Cup Distaff last time out.
Others at 117 are Century Park, coming off a Cal Cup win for trainer Bob Baffert; Providencia winner Acting Lady, from the Doug O'Neill barn; and stakes-winning April Pride, conditioned by James Cassidy.
Lightly-raced Minute Limit makes her stakes debut for Team Valor International and Gary Barber. Yet another Irish-bred in the lineup, Minute Limit lost by a nose to Starlarks in her U.S. debut, an optional claiming race last May. She returned to win a similar event for trainer John Sadler at Del Mar in August. Joel Rosario has the mount.
$100,000 Harold C. Ramser Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Century Park (FL), T Baze, 117, B Baffert
2. Minute Limit (IRE), J Rosario, 114, J W Sadler
3. Air Fair (KY), J Talamo, 114, D E Hofmans
4. Starlarks (IRE), A O Solis, 119, P Gallagher
5. Malibu Win (PA), C Santiago Reyes, 112, P S Capestro
6. Mrs Kipling (IRE), D R Flores, 118, N D Drysdale
7. Strawberry Tart (CA), M E Smith, 117, J Bonde
8. Point of Reference (WA), M C Baze, 115, F Lucarelli
9. Acting Lady (KY), R Bejarano, 117, D F O'Neill
10. April Pride (GB), G K Gomez, 117, J M Cassidy
11. Pride Dancer (IRE), B Blanc, 114, R J Frankel