LOS ALAMITOS Just Grazed Me can cure sec­on­di­tis

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Front Page - By Steve An­der­sen

CY­PRESS, Calif. – Never worse than sec­ond in five races, Just Grazed Me can end a streak of three sec­ond-place fin­ishes when she starts as the fa­vorite in an al­lowance race with a $40,000 claim­ing op­tion for fil­lies and mares at Los Alamitos on Fri­day.

The op­tional claimer is seen as a prep race for stakes at the Santa Anita win­ter­spring meet­ing, per­haps even the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fil­lies at seven fur­longs on Dec. 26.

“If she runs re­ally big, we could take a look at the La Brea, or just wait for the Cal­bred stakes later in Jan­uary,” trainer Phil D’Amato said.

Owned by breeder Nick Alexan­der, Just Grazed Me is al­ready a stakes win­ner, hav­ing won the Fleet Treat Stakes for Cal­i­for­nia-bred 3-year-old fil­lies at Del Mar in July.

In Fri­day’s race, Just Grazed Me drew the rail. She is the only stakes win­ner in a field of eight, al­though Fam­ily Girl and Silken Spy have placed in stakes in the last year.

KEY CON­TENDERS

Just Grazed Me, by Grazen Last 3 Bey­ers: 86-86-77

◗ Just Grazed Me won a maiden race in her de­but prior to the Fleet Treat Stakes. Fol­low­ing the Fleet Treat, Just Grazed Me was sec­ond in the Grade 3 Tor­rey Pines Stakes at Del Mar, an op­tional claimer at a mile at Santa Anita, and the Betty Grable Stakes for Cal­i­for­nia-breds at seven fur­longs at Del Mar on Nov. 11.

In the Betty Grable Stakes, Just Grazed Me fin­ished 2 1/4 lengths be­hind Spiced Per­fec­tion after rac­ing on the in­side.

“Last time, she was stuck on the in­side with nowhere to go,” D’Amato said. “She got some room to run and came fly­ing late. The other horse had too much of a jump. If we’d had an out­side post, it would have been a dif­fer­ent out­come.”

D’Amato said Just Grazed Me emerged from that race in peak form.

“I need to run her,” he said. “She’s do­ing so good. I don’t want to sit on her un­til Santa Anita.”

◗ Tyler Baze has rid­den Just Grazed Me in four of her five starts and has the mount on Fri­day. D’Amato ex­pects a stalk­ing trip and is not con­cerned about the in­side post.

“I think she has tac­ti­cal speed,” he said. “With the long stretch there go­ing six, I think she’ll have plenty of time to do what she does best.”

Fam­ily Girl, by Tribal Rule Last 3 Bey­ers: 72-76-74

◗ Fam­ily Girl was third in the Cal­i­for­nia Distaff Stakes for state­bred fil­lies and mares at five fur­longs at Santa Anita on Oct. 13, a race moved off turf be­cause of wet con­di­tions. On Nov. 3 at Del Mar, Fam­ily Girl was fifth of nine in an op­tional claimer at five fur­longs on turf.

◗ Trained by Peter Miller, Fam­ily Girl has won 3 of 12 starts. All of the wins have been on dirt, in­clud­ing two sprints at Los Alamitos in 2017.

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