Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Alex Evers
, favored in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and Teddy’s Promise
, a Grade I winner of nine races, head a competitive field of seven fillies and mares three and up in Saturday’s $100,000 L.A. Woman Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita.
Unbeaten in five starts approaching last year’s Breeders’ Cup, Executiveprivilege finished second at 3-2 to eventual Eclipse Award winner Beholder and was then well beaten at 2-5 in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 8.
Executiveprivilege was then freshened by trainer Bob Baffert and resurfaced July 18 at Del Mar, where she broke slowly from the rail and ran a solid second behind the good sprinter Reneesgotzip in a classified allowance. The second place finish netted the 3-year-old daughter of First Samurai a career-best Beyer Speed figure of 91.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Executiveprivilege towers over her rivals in the money-won department with $957,000 in the bank. She has five wins and two seconds from eight starts and retains the services of Rafael Bejarano.
Baffert will also saddle 3-year-old Socialbug
, a Kentucky-bred filly by Curlin who is undefeated in two six furlong starts, both at Del Mar. Owned by Mike Rutherford, she’ll be ridden for the first time by Mike Smith.
Teddy’s Promise is one of three California-breds in the L.A. Woman and like Executiveprivilege, she has been idle since mid-July. A winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes in December 2011, the 5-year-old Salt Lake mare was second as the 6-5 favorite in the Grade II A Gleam Handicap on July 13.
With five stakes wins to her credit, the Ted and Judy Nichols homebred has trained well for return at her Betfair Hollywood Park base. Trained by Ron Ellis, she has amassed $762,397 in earnings from an overall record of 25-9-4-2. She has four wins and a second from eight starts at Santa Anita.
A two-time stakes winner at two, 4 year-old Ismene
has been winless in her last five starts, but comes off a sharp second in a second condition allowance going one mile on Aug. 25 at Del Mar.
Back at what would seem a preferred distance in the L.A. Woman, the Bill Spawr-conditioned daughter of Tribal Rule drew the rail and retains the services of Gary Stevens. She is training well at Santa Anita, evidenced by a five furlong drill of 59 flat on Sept. 30.
Owned and bred by Stephen Ferraro, Ismene has three wins and three seconds from eight starts, good for earnings of $216,990.
Scratched out of last Saturday’s Grade I, mile and a sixteenth Zenyatta Stakes, Brazilian-bred Great Hot
ran evenly against males when eighth, beaten 4 ½ lengths, in the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes on Aug. 25.
A winner of the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes Feb. 16, the A.C. Avila trainee has proven she can act with top distaffers going long and short. Owned by Coudelaria Jessica, the 5-year-old Great Hot has earnings of $574,177. She has a win, two seconds and a third from five tries at 6 ½ furlongs and her overall mark stands at 24-5-3-5. She’ll again be ridden by Chantal Sutherland Kruse, who guided her to a pair of stakes victories in 2011.
The complete field for the L.A. Woman, to be run as the seventh on a 10-race card, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Ismene, Gary Stevens, 118; Sister Kate, Martin Pedroza, 122; Socialbug, Mike Smith, 119; Conkate, Edwin Maldonado, Edwin Maldonado, 120; Executiveprivilege, Rafael Bejarano, 117; Teddy’s Promise, Victor Espinoza, 124, and Great Hot, Chantal Kruse Sutherland, 122.