Paradise Woods to La Brea
DEL MAR, Calif. – Paradise Woods, who finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last week, will turn back to seven furlongs for the La Brea Stakes on opening day of Santa Anita’s winter meeting Dec. 26, trainer Richard Mandella said Thursday.
Paradise Woods has made her last five starts around two turns, including Grade 1 victories in the Santa Anita Oaks and Zenyatta. She owns a win and a second sprinting, both in maiden company. The allure of a Grade 1 race makes the La Brea, restricted to 3-year-old fillies, an attractive spot for a horse who has made only three starts since the Kentucky Oaks.
“She came out of the Distaff great,” Mandella said at his Del Mar barn. “We’re going to point for the La Brea because it’s a Grade 1, seven-eighths, ought to be a nice race for her.”
Mandella is one of the few trainers who relocates his horses to Del Mar for the fall meeting. Most trainers remain at Santa Anita and ship their runners in. It has been awfully quiet around here the past few mornings after the heady days of the Breeders’ Cup, and like many, the Mandella barn has said goodbye to some old friends while readying some promising new runners.
Avenge, Mandella’s top female turf horse, was retired after the Filly and Mare Turf on Saturday. A two-time Grade 1 winner owned by Ramona Bass, Avenge is in quarantine at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, where Mandella said she is being readied for a trip to England and a date next spring with the sire Frankel.
“I think I’ll point the [foal] toward the Epsom Derby since I haven’t had any luck with the Kentucky Derby,” Mandella joked.
Bass is the owner of Keystone Field, a 2-year-old colt by Candy Ride. Mandella has him set to debut going six furlongs on Saturday in race 7. Keystone Field is a $525,000 yearling purchase.
“He’s all legs,” Mandella said. “He’s a pretty mover. I think he’ll be better when he goes long.”
Other prominent newcomers in race 7 include Pitino, a Union Rags colt purchased this year for $950,000 who is trained by Doug O’Neill, and Totally Boss, a Street Boss colt with some fast works on the tab at Keeneland and Del Mar for trainer Brian Lynch.
Moonshine Memories resting
Moonshine Memories, beaten as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last Saturday, was on her way to Florida on Thursday for a 60-day freshening at Bridlewood Farm before embarking on her 3-year-old campaign, trainer Simon Callaghan said.
“She came out of the race great,” Callaghan said. “We thought this would be a good opportunity for her to go back to Bridlewood, get some time off, eat some grass, relax. She’ll come back in just after the first of the year.”
Moonshine Memories accomplished a lot in 2 1/2 months. She won the Del Mar Debutante and the Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita, both Grade 1 races, before fading to seventh in the Juvenile Fillies while setting a hot pace along the inside part of the track, which might not have been the best spot to be Saturday.
Bridlewood, owned by John Malone, owns Moonshine Memories with the Coolmore team of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, and John Magnier.
Skye Diamonds to Santa Monica
Skye Diamonds, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint last week, will make her next start in late January in the Santa Monica, a sevenfurlong graded stakes race for older female sprinters at Santa Anita, trainer Bill Spawr said Thursday.
Santa Anita has yet to release its stakes schedule for the winter meeting, but the Santa Monica usually is run in late January – it was run this year on Jan. 21 – and the timing suits Spawr, who likes to space Skye Diamonds’s races.
“It’s seven furlongs, and the timing is good,” Spawr said. “And it’s back at her home base.”
Skye Diamonds had a productive 2017 campaign, with five wins in seven starts, including the Grade 2 Great Lady M. at Los Alamitos and Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo at Del Mar. She was beaten 3 1/2 lengths in the Filly and Mare Sprint, whose first three spots were taken by horses 18-1 and higher.
“I thought she ran a real good race,” Spawr said.
“She beat four Grade 1 winners,” Spawr said, referring to By the Moon, Constellation, Finest City, and Paulassilverlining.
◗ This meet goes by so fast that nominations for the eight graded stakes races to be run during closing week Nov. 23-26 are due Saturday. Those races include two Grade 1 races, the Hollywood Derby for 3-yearolds on Nov. 25 and the Matriarch for female grass runners on closing day, Nov. 26.
Paradise Woods, shown training last month at Del Mar, was third in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.