Coming off a brilliant victory in Santa Anita’s Vanity
Stakes which she won by more than ten lengths, classy and consistent
Iotapa will be attempting to build on her reputatation Saturday when
she leads a strong field of seven older fillies and mares in the 44th running of the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar.
Iotapa, a daughter of Afleet Alex trained by John Sadler,
went to the front from the gate in the Vanity under jockey Joe Talamo
and never gave her rivals a chance in the Grade I event, receiving a
Beyer Speed Figure of 109 in the process.
In eleven career outings, the four-year-old filly has been
worse than third only once, while winning five times with earnings of
more than $600,000. Last winter, she won the Santa Maria at Santa Anita.
Iotapa is one of three hopefuls Sadler will send out in
the Hirsch, the trainer also sending out stakes-winning More Chocolate,
runner-up to Lady of Fifty in the 2013 Hirsch, and Legacy, a
stakes-winner at the recent Los Alamitos meet.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer also has a
formidable trio in the Hirsch – Broken Sword, winner of the Bayakoa at
Betfair Hollywood Park last December; multi stakes-winning
Doinghardtimeagain, victress in the Great Lady M at Los Alamitos
recently, and six-time stakes-winning Parranda, trying a synthetic
surface for the first time after winning ten of 23 races on grass in her
career, including the Grade II Royal Heroine a month ago at Santa
Rounding out the field and a potent threat off her best
performance is Fiftyshadesofhay from the barn of trainer Bob Baffert.
The Pulpit filly won the Grade II Ruffian at Belmont Park in May prior
to running third behind Molly Morgan in the Fleur de Lis at Churchill
The Hirsch Stakes, which honors the memory of one of the
original directors of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, is part of the
Breeders’ Cup’s series of “Win and You’re In” qualifying races where the
winner’s entry fees will be paid for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at
Post time for the first of ten races Saturday will be 2 p.m.