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Distracting, Bejarano Pursue Santa Monica

Jockey Rafael Bejarano signs autographs the day before the Preakness

Distracting shortens from a mile and a sixteenth to seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II Santa Monica Stakes, one of six added money events to be decided at Santa Anita Park on Sunshine Millions Day.

Leading rider Rafael Bejarano is confident the 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor trained by Bob Baffert can successfully make the transition. He should know. He’s ridden the chestnut filly in each of her four starts, winning the first two and finishing second the last two, including the Paseana Handicap on Jan. 13.

“She’s got speed but she can relax,” Bejarano said. “We’ll see what Bob wants me to do and go from there. If we get a good trip we should be OK.”

Distracting has been favored in all but her first race, but that honor is likely to fall to Teddy’s Promise in the Santa Monica. The easy winner of the Kalookan Queen is the 5-2 choice on Jon White’s morning line, with Distracting listed at 4-1.

The field for the Santa Monica, race eight of 10: Journaliste, Garrett Gomez, 12-1; Distracting, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Sugarinthemorning, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Teddy’s Promise, Victor Espinoza, 5-2; Belle of the Hall, Corey Nakatani, 4-1; Kindle, Edwin Maldonado, 3-1; and Pink Lollipops, Joe Talamo, 8-1.

Byrama and Rumor were scratched. “She just doesn’t seem to be herself,” trainer Richard Mandella said of Rumor. “I’m going to pass and look at something else.”


 

 

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