Tanda, a 4-year-old filly who scored her last victory in the Railbird Stakes here last May, hopes to strike again on Railbird day Saturday in the 150,000 Grade II Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park.
The Milady, for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track, will be the feature race. The $100,000 Grade III Railbird for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs heads the undercard. The program, which includes a simulcast of the Preakness Stakes, begins at 11 a.m.
Tanda has encountered a long and bumpy road back to Hollywood Park. After her Railbird score, she was shipped to New York, ran third in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont and was injured.
“She had a chip taken out of her ankle after that race,” said trainer Dan Hendricks Sunday. “We tried to have her back for the La Brea opening day at Santa Anita (last Dec. 26) but a foot held her back.
“We tried again for the Santa Monica in January but a foot held her up again,” continued Hendricks. “It was just a little abscess, and we finally got her back for the Las Cienegas.”
Tanda rallied to finish fourth in the Las Cienegas Handicap on the hillside turf course April 9 in her return. “She’s been working super for this race,” said Hendricks, delighted with a five-furlong bullet work here in 59.20 Saturday.
Tanda, a Florida-bred daughter of Sweetsouthernsaint, will test two turns for the first time under Joel Rosario. “She’s always acted like that’s what she wanted to do,” said Hendricks of the added distance.
Other probable starters include St Trinians (Joe Talamo), Washington Bridge (Rafael Bejarano), Makoma (Chantal Sutherland), American Story and Church Camp.
Trainer Art Sherman said he was still on the fence with B. Thoughtful Stakes winner Ultra Blend between the Milady and the Fran’s Valentine Stakes for California-breds at one mile on turf the following day. Other possibles include Lady Railrider and She’s Cheeky.
St Trinians, who finished second to Zenyatta in the 2010 Vanity Handicap, worked six furlongs in a best of the morning 1:13.20 Saturday for trainer Mike Mitchell.
Washington Bridge is unbeaten in two starts on this surface, including an upset in the Bayakoa Handicap last December Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer also nominated champion Blind Luck but she is likely to wait for the Grade I Vanity June 18, according to assistant Dan Ward. Blind Luck breezed four furlongs in 48.80 here Sunday.
Makoma will make her stakes bow for trainer John Shirreffs and owner-breeders Jerry and Ann Moss, who won the Milady with Zenyatta in 2008 and 2009.
Church Camp, winner of the Santa Lucia Handicap, worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 here Sunday for trainer Brian Koriner.
American Story comes off a front-running allowance score here April 22 at the Milady distance for trainer Bob Baffert.
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who has won the Railbird Stakes a record four times, seeks to make it five Saturday with Rumor in the $100,000 Grade III test for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
“She just worked three quarters in 1:12 and change over here yesterday,” said Mandella from Santa Anita Sunday, confident that the filly is sharp and fit.
Regular rider Rafael Bejarano will be back aboard the filly, who has been second in two allowance races at Santa Anita following an impressive 6 ¾-length win in her debut on December 31.
Rumor is owned by Ramona Bass, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, the same trio that won the 2009 Railbird with the Mandella-trained Witty. By Indian Charlie out of the Deputy Minister mare Mini Chat, Kentucky-bred Rumor was purchased for $440,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale.
In addition to Witty, Mandella also won the Railbird with She’s Tops in 1992, Supercilious in 1996 and Brulay in 1998.
Other probable Railbird starters include Melair Stakes winner Miles Rules (Joel Rosario), Pedaltothemedal (Joe Talamo), Alec’s Moon (Tyler Baze) and unbeaten Sarah’s Secret (David Flores).
Miles Rules worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 here Sunday. “She went off slow and finished nice,” said trainer Cliff Sise. “She’s fit as a fiddle.”
Pedaltothemedal, who seeks her third straight victory for trainer Art Sherman, worked five furlongs in 59.80 Saturday.
Trainer Bob Baffert is expected to start at least one and possibly two of his three nominees: Alienation, American Lady and May Day Rose.
Possibles include Big Tiz, who worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.20 Saturday, and Hout Bay, who drilled five panels in 1:00.60 Sunday.
Trainer Mike Puype nominated Hollywood Starlet winner Turbulent Descent but said the star filly would probably pass and wait for the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11.
Eblouissante, a 2-year-old half sister to retired Horse of the Year Zenyatta, is making herself at home in the John Shirreffs stable, which had been home to Zenyatta for more than four years.
Eblouissante, a dark bay or brown filly by Bernardini out of the Kris S. mare Vertigineux, arrived here Thursday.
“She’s been galloping,” said assistant trainer Michelle Jensen. “She doesn’t look like Zenyatta, but she’s a big elegant filly and she’s got the presence, that royal aura.”
U R All That I Am, who won the Fran’s Valentine Stakes by 2 ¼ lengths last year, seeks to become the first repeat winner in the 16-year history of the race May 22.
U R All That I Am, a 5-year-old chestnut mare in the Jerry Hollendorfer stable, worked four furlongs in 49 seconds here Sunday.
Winner of the Work The Crowd Stakes on the Golden Gate Fields turf in her last start on April 23, U R All That I Am has won 10 of 24 starts and earned $404,529 for owner-breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds.
Rafael Bejarano has the call in the $70,000-added Fran’s Valentine for California-bred fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
Trainer Art Sherman said that he is on the fence with Ultra Blend between the Fran’s Valentine and the Milady Handicap the previous day.
Others under Fran’s Valentine consideration include Logical Single (Chantal Sutherland), Jax El (Alonso Quinonez) and Ruffled Feathers, who worked six furlongs in 1:14.60 Sunday.
FINISH LINES—Early-morning showers washed out turf works Sunday, but the Cushion Track was busy with 186 workers…Congratulations to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer for his selection to the Racing Hall of Fame this week…Acclamation, who joined On The Acorn as the only repeat winner of the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap Saturday, returned to the Don Warren stable at Santa Anita. The 5-year-old California-bred horse is expected to return in defense of his Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap crown June 11. Acclamation, an Old English Rancho homebred, seeks to become the first horse to win the race more than once since John Henry captured it three times in 1980, ’81 and ’82 when it was called the Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap…At least four jockeys from the local colony have Preakness calls next Saturday: Martin Garcia on Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude, Mike Smith on Astrology, Garrett Gomez on Sway Away and Victor Espinoza on Hollywood Park-based Mr. Commons, who will be flown east Tuesday from the John Shirreffs stable. Corey Nakatani also has a tentative call on Nehro if his connections elect to run.
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