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
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
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.