Back with fillies after thumping the boys in her second career start, the Mark Glatt-conditioned Big Sweep will take on the highly accomplished Warren’s Showtime and recent stakes winner Smiling Shirlee as they all figure prominently among a field of six sophomore fillies going 1 1/16 mile in Sunday’s $150,000 Melair Stakes at Santa Anita.
Sponsored by the CTBA, the Melair, named for the brilliant multiple graded-stakes-winning homebred daughter of Debonair Roger who was owned by Millard and Rous and trained by John Sadler, is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
Owner: Red Baron’s Barn & Rancho Temescal, LLC
Trainer: Mark Glatt
A facile 2 1/4-length first-out maiden winner versus statebreds going six furlongs on March 14, her connections opted to take on males in the six-furlong Echo Eddie Stakes (instead of fillies in the six-furlong Evening Jewel) on May 16, a race she won by a head under ultra-confident handling. Even money in both of her starts, she’s been brilliant on both occasions and looks like the horse to beat stretching out with regular rider Flavien Prat.
Owner: Benjamin & Sally Warren
Trainer: Craig Lewis
A three-time stakes winner at one mile on turf, this homebred chestnut daughter of the red hot sire Clubhouse Ride was most recently third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths in the one-mile turf Fran’s Valentine versus statebreds on June 6, a race which followed a fourth place finish going six furlongs on dirt in the Evening Jewel Stakes May 16. Out of the Grade 1 stakes winning Warren’s Veneda, Warren’s Showtime has been ridden in all nine of her starts by Jorge Velez, winning four and finished third three times. With Velez back aboard on Sunday, she’ll need to bring her A-game to deny the top selection.
Owner: Edward Brown, Jr., Alan Klein & Phillip Lebherz
Trainer: Jeff Bonde
Ridden for the first time by Mike Smith, this filly by Smiling Tiger responded with a big effort, winning the six furlong Evening Jewel Stakes on May 16 by a widening half length while procuring a career-top Beyer Speed figure of 82. A 2 3/4-length one-mile allowance winner two starts back on March 6, Smiling Shirlee is in top form and should handle the stretch out with no problem as Smith rides her back.
THE $150,000 MELAIR STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 12
Approximate post time 6:30 p.m. ET
Big Sweep: Flavien Prat, 120
Smiling Shirlee: Mike Smith, 122
Reiwa: Abel Cedillo, 120
Kristi’s Tiger: Brice Blanc, 120
Homehome: Mario Gutierrez, 120
Warren’s Showtime: Jorge Velez, 124
First post time for a 12-race card on closing day Sunday, is at 3:30 p.m. ET.