Santa Anita Horses To Watch June 4
STORMING LADY (May 31): Four year old filly for Alfredo Marquez had the light bulb go on in Friday’s second race, a one mile turf event for older fillies/mares at a mile on the turf for a starter allowance non winners twice. This one had always shown good speed early, but then always gave it up in the final furlong going both long and short. She broke running this time under Victor Espinoza, but he was hooking lots of speed today, so he wisely took her back before the clubhouse turn and she relaxed nicely for him in 4th, about four lengths back. She stayed that way until the top of the stretch and when he asked her for run, she was loaded, quickly got the lead, and had enough to hold off the late runners to win by a length. This style of being able to rate opens up lots of doors for her, and she’s probably good enough to win the first allowance condition for a barn that flies well under the radar. Up the ladder.
COMICAL GHOST (June 1): Three year old colt for Bob Baffert made his debut on Saturday in a maiden special weight event at ¾ on the main track and just enhanced the trainer’s already remarkable record with debut runners. Off as the 1 to 2 favorite in a field of 8, and absolutely bred as well as a horse can be, he came out running under Talamo, and though he got caught up in a speed duel with a quick first quarter in 21.93, it didn’t matter. He just shook off the other speed at the top of the lane and went on to win by two quite easily. His father, Ghostzapper was a former Horse of the Year, and his mother (Hystericalady) was a multiple Grade 1 winner who also won in her debut. The sky’s the limit for yet another nice Baffert runner. Up the ladder.
MORNING SNOW (June 1): Three year old colt for Bob Baffert made his debut in Saturday’s sixth at ¾ on the main and was unfortunate to draw the rail slot. Off as the 6/5 choice in a field of 8, he came out running under Talamo and set good fractions of 22.17 and 45.57 for the half. He got collared early by the winner at the ¼ pole and had to hustle the rest of the way home while down on the inside. He didn’t give it up until within the 1/16 pole and fought on the best he could. He lost by 3 lengths and it was another 3 back to the third horse. He’s one of the few Baffert runners who didn’t win at first asking, but he still may have won had he had any post but the one hole. He’ll be tough in start #2 and is bred to get at least a mile. He’s a soon winner for a top outfit.
HOSTESS (June 1): Stretch running three year old filly for Simon Callaghan got hurt with the late scratch of speed horse Sold It in the Grade 3 Honeymoon Stakes on Saturday, but put in a good run just the same. A horse that relies on some pace in front of her, she was off at 3/1 in a field of 8, and was well back in the field. They went a decent first quarter in 23.69 but then slowed the pace way down with a second quarter in just 25.10 in this 9 furlong grass event. She still put in a run at the ¼ pole, swung five wide into the lane, and still looked like a winner at the 1/8 pole. But she got nailed very late right on the wire from a horse way out in the middle of the course that she couldn’t see. Due to the lack of pace, she was much closer to the lead then she likes. She will fare much better over the Del Mar course which is much kinder to late runners, and will probably have larger fields and some pace to run at. This one has lots of talent and fires every time. Tab and follow this summer.
MO FORZA (June 2): Three year old colt for Peter Miller made his debut in Sunday’s opener, a five furlong dash on the turf for 3 and up maiden special weights. Off at 7/2 under Prat, he missed the start completely and fell 12 lengths off the pace by the half mile pole. Prat took him to the rail to save ground and he gobbled it up the final 3/8 to finish third, only beaten a length and a quarter at the wire. He ran the final ¼ in a swift 23.09, and this was a debut runner. This Uncle Mo colt is bred to go long or short and is a soon winner anywhere Miller chooses to place him. This barn heats up dramatically at Del Mar and they run 5/8 on the turf there as well.
By Rod Young (Turfdom)