In what appears to be a completely wide open affair, Bob Baffert holds a strong two-card hand with both Just a Smidge and Alluring Star in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita.A prep for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 3, the Chandelier, to be contested at a mile and a sixteenth, attracted a field of eight 2-year-old fillies.
JUST A SMIDGE: A $425,000 2-year-old in training sale purchase this past May, this Kentucky-bred filly by Into Mischief was a prompt 1 ¼ length first out maiden winner as the 2-1 favorite going five furlongs two starts back on July 19.Subsequently dispatched as the 9-5 favorite in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante going seven furlongs Sept. 2, she pressed the early pace and weakened to finish fifth, beaten eight lengths. Like several others, she’ll be trying a route of ground for the first time Saturday and although she may not go favored for the third time in a row, she figures to be well supported as she tries to make amends for her most recent outing.Owned by Debbie Lanni, she’ll again be ridden for the first time by “Big Money” Mike Smith.
ALLURING STAR: Purchased for $850,000 at an Ocala, Florida 2-year-old in training sale this past March, she was an easy 2 ½ length first out maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on Sept. 3 under Joe Talamo, who rides back on Saturday. Trained by Baffert and owned by Baoma Corporation, this Exchange Rate filly appears to have a big future as she tries two turns for the first time.
PIEDI BIANCHI: Trained by Doug O’Neill, this Indiana-bred filly by the Dixie Union stallion Overanalyze comes off a huge second place finish in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante at odds of 18-1. Beaten just a half length, she broke her maiden impressively two starts back on Aug. 12 and like many others, will be routing for the first time in the Chandelier.Purchased for $80,000 at the Ocala Breeders 2-year-old in Training Sale in March, she’s owned by Nice Guys Stable and Jay Oringer.
DANCING BELLE: Although still a maiden through five starts, this Keith Desormeaux trainee looms dangerous as she’s had invaluable seasoning, which has resulted in two second and a third place finish.Most recently fourth in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante, she was second, beaten five lengths two starts back in the Grade II Sorrento going 6 ½ furlongs Aug. 5.With brother Kent set to ride for the fourth consecutive time, she’ll hope to be finishing best of all in her first two turn assignment.Owned by Big Chief Racing, LLC, Rock O Ranch, LLC, Keith Desormeaux, Detmar and Voss, Dancing Belle sold for $200,000 as a Keeneland September yearling.
TERRA’S ANGEL: An impressive first out maiden special weight winner going 4 ½ furlongs at Lone Star Park three starts back on May 13, she subsequently pressed the pace and finished a well beaten third, beaten 9 ¾ lengths, in the Grade II Sorrento Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs Aug. 5.Switched to turf and dispatched at 19-1, she proved best by a half length when stretching out to a flat mile in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar Sept. 4.Purchased for just $7,500 as a Keeneland September yearling, Terra’s Angel is trained by Dallas Keen and will be ridden for the fourth consecutive time by Sasha Risenhoover.A Kentucky-bred daughter of Drosselmeyer, she’s banked $96,420 and is owned by Johnny B. Evans and Terry Eoff.
THE GRADE I CHANDELIER STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 11 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
1. Dancing Belle—Kent Desormeaux—122
2. Alluring Star—Joe Talamo—122
3. Moonshine Memories—Flavien Prat—122
4. Super Good—Gary Stevens--122
5. Terra’s Angel—Sasha Risenhoover—122
6. Holy Diver—Modesto Linares--122
7. Piedi Bianchi—Mario Gutierrez—122
8. Just a Smidge—Mike Smith—122
Source: Santa Anita Park