Briecat and Amazing, riding three-race winning streaks, take on multiple grade II victor Leah's Secret in a highly competitive renewal of the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff at Santa Anita Jan. 24. Other races in this series include the Sunshine Millions Sprint and the Sunshine Millions Oaks. Four races are run at Santa Anita and four are run at Gulfstream Park. The series is worth a total of $3.6 million.
Baroness Thatcher, reunited with trainer Patrick Biancone following her purchase a month ago for $1.8 million at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, makes her next start in the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park Dec. 7.
Four-year-old filly Romance Is Diane, a grade I stakes winner, is the 5-2 favorite among eight entrants in the $250,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank, the centerpiece of Oak Tree's 10-stakes series of races exclusively for state-breds at Santa Anita Oct. 5.
Unraced since her fourth-place finish in the Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT), Eclipse Award finalist Nashoba's Key will make her 5-year-old debut in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes at Santa Anita Jan. 26.
Tough Tiz's Sis never let the front-running Hystericalady out of her sight, running down the prohibitive favorite in the final couple of strides to win Oak Tree's $196,500 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup (gr. I) by a head at Santa Anita Park Oct. 7.
Three-time graded stakes winner Hystericalady will try to beat four rivals Oct. 7 in the $250,000 Lady's Secret Handicap (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, in what should be a springboard to the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff later this month at Monmouth Park.
Undefeated Nashoba's Key had to overcome an anxious moment in Sunday's $294,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares on the Del Mar Polytrack, but she came thundering home under Joe Talamo for her sixth successive victory.
Although beaten in back-to-back graded stakes starts by the undefeated Nashoba's Key, Balance still brings a beaming smile from her trainer, David Hofmans, as he prepares the 4-year-old filly for the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares Aug. 5.
John Amerman's Balance, a two-time grade I winner last year, resembled her old self while winning the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies by 4 1/4 lengths over Bai and Bai Sunday at Santa Anita.
Balance, winner of last year's Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) and Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), could be sitting on a big effort in Sunday's $200,000 La Canada (gr. II) at Santa Anita with her second start following a lengthy layoff for trainer David Hofmans.
The California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association has announced its 2006 award winners, with the exception of Horse of the Year, which will be presented at the organization's annual meeting and awards dinner Feb. 5. Finalists for the honor include Brother Derek, Lava Man, and Thor's Echo.
Sierra Sweetie earned her fourth career stakes victory and kept her Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopes alive by scoring a 1 3/4-length triumph in the $100,000 California Breeders' Cup Oaks at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
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