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Vanity Handicap Field Coming Together

Dan Ward, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, indicated that both Lady of Fifty and Esentepe will start in Saturday’s Grade I, $250,000 Vanity Handicap at 1 1-8 miles on Cushion Track.

Lady of Fifty is the more accomplished of the two. The 4-year-old gray daughter of After Market won the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap last Dec. 8 at Betfair Hollywood Park and was second to Open Water in the Grade II Marjorie L. Everett Handicap May 18 in her first start in three months.

Esentepe, a Group III winner in England, was extremely impressive winning an optional claimer May 9 in her Cushion Track debut. Rafael Bejarano rode both fillies last time and it is uncertain which one he will ride in the Vanity. Corey Nakatani will ride the other.

Open Water will try to show that her 9-1 upset victory in the Everett was not a fluke. The Eric Guillot trainee previously was runner-up to Lady of Fifty in the Bayakoa. Joe Talamo retains the mount.

More Chocolate captured the Grade II La Canada Stakes Jan. 20 at Santa Anita, defeating Lady of Fifty by 4 ¼ lengths and Open Water by nearly eight. The Vanity would mark her first try on a synthetic track. Garrett Gomez has the assignment for trainer John Sadler.

Mark Glatt left open the possibility that Royal Tiger would return quickly to run in the Vanity. The 6-year-old Hold That Tiger mare crushed $40,000 optional claimers by 14 lengths June 2.

As of Sunday, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was undecided about the status of his two Vanity nominees, Candrea and Maker Or Breaker. Candrea, a Grade I-placed daughter of Trippi, hasn’t run since finishing second in the Santa Lucia Stakes April 14. She’s won two of three starts on Cushion Track. Maker Or Breaker set the pace in the Everett before tiring to fourth.




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