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Consistent Rumor ready to step up


Rumor, never worse than second in seven career races, makes her first start in a graded stakes Saturday, and a Grade I at that, when she runs in the $300,000 Santa Monica Stakes for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs.


“She’s doing good and she’s kind of done everything we’ve asked of her so far, so we’ll see if she’s this good,” said Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. “The distance should suit her.”


Rumor, a 4-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie owned by Ramona Bass, Claiborne Farms and Adele Dilschneider, will be ridden for the first time by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who was 15 shy of 5,000 career wins going into Thursday’s races.


“I’d say he knows his way around by now,” Mandella said of Smith. “I don’t think he needs much practice. Rumor is nice to ride, doesn’t have any peculiarities, so Mike and I will probably talk about the weather rather than strategy.”


The field for the Santa Monica: Bella Diamante, David Flores; Big Tiz, Corey Nakatani; Teddy’s Promise, Victor Espinoza; Home Sweet Aspen, Joel Rosario; She’s Cheeky, Joe Talamo; Rumor, Mike Smith; and Sugarinthemorning, Rafael Bejarano.



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