In the last 20 years, six fillies used the Sorrento as a springboard to future Championships. A few that were heavy favorites in the Grade 3 event failed to win, but dominated in later races. Last year’s Sorrento heroine Wickedly Perfect also won the Alcibiades (G1) and last year’s place horse in the race, AZ Warrior, later won the Frizette (G1).
KILLER GRACES (Congaree – Heatherdoesntbluff, by Old Trieste) looked like her stablemate Blind Luck in the stretch of the Landaluce. Trailing the field for most of the way, the chestnut filly kicked into gear in mid-stretch to get up at the wire by ½ a length. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is a nose away from being undefeated and lists the Cinderella and Landaluce on her resume. She’s the second foal produced by her dam and her half sister is a multiple stakes placed sprinter. Killer Graces owns a moderate work over the Polytrack.
MADE TO LOVE HER(Stevie Wonderboy - Love Boot, by Storm Boot) had the tough rail post in her debut. She was on the inside all the way around and got up for second by a neck over the third place horse, while the winner was much the best. Her first crop sire has one winner from 11 runners. They aren’t bred to be precocious and will develop from mid summer through their three year old season and should prefer running in longer sprints and past a mile. Made to Love Her is the first foal for her dam. Her dam won at first asking and placed in a listed stakes at Tampa and the second dam is stakes placed. Made to Love Her shows two stamina works, but the Kasparoff barn is 0 for 10 with second time starters.
WILLA B AWESOME (Awesome Gambler – Cause I’m Tricky, by Nineeleven) won a statebred maiden race at first asking in late April. The new California sire Awesome Gambler, a son of Coronado’s Quest out of a Deputy Minister mare, won the 1 1/8 mile Alydar Stakes and placed in the Gateway to Glory Stakes. He has two winners from seven starters. Most of Awesome Gambler’s offspring will need a few races under their girths and will grow into their talent. Willa B Awesome has placed behind Killer Graces and Heleonor Rugby, but has two sub 1:00 five furlong works to her credit.
WEE HIGHLAND LASS (Include - City Fair, by Carson City) sat in third most of the way in her debut and wore down the struggling leaders in late stretch. She’s a half sister to Oaklawn Handicap victor Win Willy. Their dam is a stakes winning sprinter. Wee Highland Lass is taking a step up from the claiming ranks. Her trainer is 0 for 35 with the dirt to Poly angle.
RIVER KISS(Awesome Gambler - River Cutie, by Rio Verde) was wide the whole way in her debut, but powered through the stretch ot put away state-bred maidens by 2 ½ lengths in a strong effort. Her first crop sire has two winners from seven starters. There is no blacktype (stakes wins) in her first two generations, although Spinaway winner Strategic Maneuver and Bluegrass winner Halory Hunter are part of this distaff family. River Kiss had an average 3F blowout over the Del Mar track and the O’Neil barn is 9% with the maiden to stakes angle.
MIGHTY CAROLINE (Stormy Atlantic - Mighty Renee, by Maria's Mon) tried to steal the Landaluce on the lead, but Killer Graces mowed her down in the shadow of the wire. Mighty Caroline is the first foal for her unraced dam. There isn’t any blacktype in her first two generations, but her third dam Over All won the Landaluce, as well as the Grade 1 Spinaway, Matron, Grade 2 Schuylerville and Adirondack Stakes. Mighty Caroline owns plenty of speed, but worked a very slow 6F over the Polytrack.
SILENT SUE (Silent Name – Cold Porridge, by Tiffany Ice) scratched.
HELEONOR RUGBY(Tribal Rule - Eleanor Rose, by In Excess) had only three rivals to beat in the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Stakes over the Del Mar track. After sitting off of the leaders, she went by them when asked, despite racing a little green. Heleonor Rugby is bred for speed. She’s the second foal and first filly produced by her dam. Her half brother has won once in eight tries. Her dam won a stakes over the mud and placed in two other stakes over fast dirt and turf, all at a mile and beyond. Her second and third dams also have stakes wins.
How the track is playing: five races this meet have been held at 6 ½ furlongs and two were held this past week. So far, the track has been playing mostly fair, with pace setters, pressers and mid pack runners all wining. Stalkers are at a disadvantage.
KILLER GRACES is the filly to beat, but her stalking style plays against her. She probably has enough class to overcome the track bias. HELEONOR RUGBY is the only other stakes winner in the field and beat WILLA B AWESOME. MIGHTY CAROLINE is the speed, but she’ll have to slow it down if she’s to have any shot at sticking around at the end. WILLA B AWESOME has been solid in all three starts.
#1 KILLER GRACES
#8 HELEONOR RUGBY
#6 MIGHTY CAROLINE
#3 WILLA B AWESOME – longshot
$2 Superfecta Box - #1, #3, #6, #8 = $24.00
$2 Quinella - #1, #8, #6 = $6.00
$2 WP at 5-1 or higher - #3 = $4.00