LOS ALAMITOS Just Grazed Me can cure seconditis
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.
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.