California-bred Tiz Flirtatious seeks her first graded stakes victory in the $150,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park Dec. 30, and seems primed to take it off an impressive runner-up finish in the Nov. 25 Matriarch (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Owned and bred by Pamela Ziebarth and trained by Marty Jones, Tiz Flirtatious drew the outside post in a nine-horse field for the 1 1/8-mile Frankel. Though forced wide into the first turn of the one-mile Matriarch, the 4-year-old daughter of Tizbud mounted a furious stretch rally and was beaten one length by Better Lucky.
The Jones trainee was attentive to the early pace in the Jan. 22 La Canada (gr. IIT) and finished third, beaten five lengths going 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. The Frankel will be her third start since going to the sidelines following the La Canada; she'll again get the services of Rafael Bejarano, who rode her to a first-out maiden win on Oct. 2, 2011, and was aboard in the Matriarch. Lightly raced Tiz Flirtatious has earnings of $244,800 from a mark of 4-1-1 from six starts.
was impressive going a mile and a sixteenth in her U.S. debut Nov. 15, taking a second-condition allowance from well off the pace while winning by 1 1/2 lengths at odds of 4-5. Multiple Eclipse Award-winner Julien Leparoux will stick with the 5-year-old mare and hopes to have a lively pace to track. Owned by Alice Bamford and Michael Tabor, Qaraaba is trained by Simon Callahan and has worked three times since winning Nov. 15, most recently a five furlong drill in 1:01 handily at Santa Anita Dec. 22. She has four wins to her credit from seven starts this year.
Callahan also will send out French-bred Camelia Rose
and Irish-bred Imperialistic Diva
. The former, although she has two close second-place finishes to her credit, remains winless from eight stateside starts. She figures to be forwardly placed in the Frankel. The latter comes off a lackluster sixth in the Oct. 20 Miss America Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
won that 1 1/16-mile turf affair, and has won seven of her past 12 starts. Apart from a last-place run in the Sept. 29 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park
, the 4-year-old daughter of the Saint Ballado
has done little wrong for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. She is equally at home on the front end or pressing the pace, and has amassed earnings of $666,896 for Hoefflin, O'Farrell, Schneider and partners, from a record of 24-14-3-2. Jockey Joe Talamo makes up part of a 124-pound high weight leaving post two.
Jockey Mike Smith will try his hand again with Vivo Per Lei
, with whom he was a troubled third in the Nov. 4 Goldikova Stakes (gr. IIT). A 5-year-old mare by Empire Maker
, Vivo Per Lei figures to press the Frankel pace and will hope for clearer sailing from post seven. Trained by John Shirreffs, she is owned by Eurowest Bloodstock.
$150,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, approximate post 4:07 p.m. PST), fillies & mares 3YOs & Up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Camelia Rose (FR), M. Gutierrez, 119, S Callaghan
2. Halo Dolly (CA), J. Talamo, 124, J Hollendorfer
3. Qaraaba (GB), J.R. Leparoux, 119, S Callaghan
4. Hard to Resist (KY), C.S. Nakatani, 119, P Eurton
5. Imperialistic Diva (IRE), D.R. Flores, 119, S Callaghan
6. I Dazzle (LA), J. Valdivia, Jr., 119, J C Van Berg
7. Vivo Per Lei (KY), M.E. Smith, 119, J A Shirreffs
8. More Chocolate (KY), G.K. Gomez, 117, J W Sadler
9. Tiz Flirtatious (CA), R. Bejarano, 119, M F Jones