Heir Kitty Returns to Dirt in Great Lady M

July 09, 2014 03:04am
Grade I winner Heir Kitty will make her first start in three months against six opponents in the $200,000-guaranteed Great Lady M. Stakes Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Known most recently as the A Gleam Handicap (1979-2013) when run at Hollywood Park, the Grade II is the seventh of eighth races. Approximate post time for the Great Lady M., which is for older fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs, is 5 p.m. Post time Saturday is 2 p.m.

Owned by David Bernsen and Paul Makin, Heir Kitty will be making her first start since finishing fourth in the Grade I Madison April 12 over the Polytrack at Keeneland.  She wound up 5 ¼ lengths behind favored winner Judy the Beauty.

A 4-year-old Wildcat Heir filly out of the Silver Back mare Be Silver, Heir Kitty has won four of 17 and earned $417,272. She is trained by Peter Miller, who enters the final week of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival four wins shy of 500 for his career.

Heir Kitty’s Grade I success is her only victory in five races on dirt. The Florida bred was 13-1 in the La Brea Stakes last Dec. 26 at Santa Anita when she defeated a field that included 2013 Test Stakes winner Sweet Lulu and Executiveprivilege, winner of the 2012 Del Mar Debutante.

“She had some trouble at Keeneland,’’ said Miller. “She’s been training very well and she’s proven that she runs well fresh.’’

A week after collaborating to win the Grade II, $500,500 Los Alamitos Derby with the undefeated Shared Belief, a pair of Hall of Famers - trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and jockey Mike Smith – will seek a sweep of the meet’s graded races when they team once more with Doinghardtimeagain in the Great Lady M.

A California bred daughter of Ministers Wild Cat owned by breeders Tom and Debi Stull’s Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC, the 4-year-old will be trying to improve upon a poor performance in the Desert Stormer June 15 at Santa Anita.

In her first race in 10 months, Doinghardtimeagain finished last of five, 9 ½ lengths behind surprise winner Sagebrush Queen. Out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Silver Hawk Lady, Doinghardtimeagain has won five of 12 and banked $588,766.

A victory in the Great Lady M. would be her second in a Grade II. She led throughout to win the Hollywood Oaks as the 4-5 favorite June 22, 2013 at Hollywood Park.

Hollendorfer won the A Gleam in consecutive years (2006-2007) with Somethinaboutlaura.

Sagebrush Queen was 16-1 in the Desert Stormer, prevailing by one length for her second win in a row and third in her last four starts for owners Larry Konecne and Sandi Mattei and trainer Jorge Gutierrez.

A 4-year-old Unbridled Energy filly, Sagebrush Queen is 4-for-9. Out of the Tough Knight mare Nite Moon, the California bred has earned $189,770.

Second in the Desert Stormer, Clearly Confused will be seeking her sixth win of the year.

Claimed four times for prices ranging from $12,500 to $25,000 since last Oct. 26, the 4-year-old daughter of Successful Appeal and the Allen’s Prospect mare Nice of You has been worse than second only once in seven races in 2014.

Owned by Niles Dickey LLC, Clearly Confused will be making her second start for trainer Richard Baltas, who claimed her for $25,000 April 3. She won an optional claimer May 2 in her first race for her new connections before chasing Sagebrush Queen last month.

Twice a winner of the seven-furlong A Gleam in the last three years with Irish Gypsy (2011) and Book Review (2013), Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will be represented Saturday by Tres Belle.

Out of the Awesome Again mare Europe Again, the 4-year-old War Front filly enters off back-to-back wins at Churchill Downs.

After finishing second April 4 at Santa Anita in her first start in more than eight months, Tres Belle won a $48,775 allowance by 3 ¼ lengths April 29 before returning to win an optional claimer by 1 1/12 lengths May 24.

This will be the first appearance in a graded race for Tres Belle, a $340,000 yearling purchase by Kaleem Shah, Inc. at the 2011 Keeneland September sale. She has three wins in seven starts and earnings of $116,619.

Amaranth tries stronger after winning three in a row in Northern California, including a seven-length victory in the Betamerica.com Oaks June 22 at Oak Tree/Pleasanton.

Trained by O.J. Jauregui for Highland Yard LLC, the 3-year-old Mr. Greeley filly out of the Storm Boot mare Shedoesrock, Amaranth has won three of six and banked $69,820.

Idle since she was eased in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet last Dec. 7 at Hollywood Park, Concave will be making her 3-year-old debut for Reddam Racing LLC and trainer Doug O’Neill.

A daughter of Colonel John and the Ascot Knight mare Galadriel, Concave has won twice in six starts and earned $207,450. She already has a Grade II on her resume, winning the Sorrento last Aug. 7 over Del Mar’s Polytrack.

From inside out, the field for the Great Lady M. Stakes: Tres Belle, Martin Garcia rides, 119 pounds; Concave, Elvis Trujillo, 114; Clearly Confused, Tyler Baze, 119; Heir Kitty, Joe Talamo, 121; Amaranth, Dennis Carr, 119; Sagebrush Queen, Edwin Maldonado, 119 and Doinghardtimeagain, Mike Smith, 119.


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