With a recent stakes win down Santa Anita’s unique hillside turf course in hand, Bob Baffert’s Fast and Shiny rates top billing in a wide open Grade III, $100,000 Senorita Stakes on Saturday, Kentucky Derby Day. For 3-year-old fillies, the Senorita, run at one mile on grass since its inception at Hollywood Park in 1968, will be contested for the first time at about 6 ½ furlongs over the hillside turf with a field of seven sophomore fillies signed on.
Off at 7-1 in the ungraded Angels Flight Stakes on March 26, Fast and Shiny went to the front and was never seriously challenged, winning by a half length under Abel Cedillo, who rides back on Saturday. A 3-year-old daughter of Bernardini out of the Lion Hearted mare Spotted Heart, Fast and Shiny will likely employ similar front-running tactics in the Senorita.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Fast and Shiny, who was a front-running allowance winner going six furlongs on dirt two starts back on Feb. 19, seeks her third win in a row. With an overall mark of 7-3-0-1, she has earnings of $193,700.
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The biggest question mark in Saturday’s Senorita would appear to be the George Papaprodromou-trained Ag Bullet, who returns to Santa Anita following a disappointing fifth place effort going a mile and one sixteenth on synthetic Cushion Track in the ungraded Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park March 25. An impressive winner of the one mile turf Lady of Shamrock Stakes two starts back here on Feb. 12, she was a runaway maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs out of Santa Anita’s turf chute three races back on Jan. 22 with Joe Bravo, who will ride her for the first time since the maiden win.
Fast and Shiny Wins Angel Flight
A Kentucky-bred filly by Twirling Candy out of the Forestry mare Nobel Grey, Ag Bullet is owned by Calvin Nguyen and Joey Tran. With two wins from four starts, she has earnings of $110,300.
A solid second, beaten a half length by Fast and Shiny in the Angels Flight on March 26, the Richard Mandella-trained Teena Ella rallied for a 1 ¼ length maiden win going six furlongs on turf two starts back Feb. 12 and thus is in top form as she tries to turn the tables on the top selection.
Out of four-time Eclipse champion Beholder and by War Front, Teena Ella is owned by her breeder, Spendthrift Farm. With Edwin Maldonado taking over for the first time, look for Teena Ella to be forwardly placed as she looks for her second win from five starts.
Trained by Jeff Mullins, Irish-bred The Wild Grazer, a first condition allowance winner down the hill three starts back on Jan. 8, was last, beaten 20 ½ lengths in the one mile turf China Doll Stakes, a race in which she added blinkers and was off at 2-1.
In an obviously disappointing effort, she broke inward, was rank into the first turn, appeared well positioned to make a move turning for home but stopped badly. With blinkers off today, look for The Wild Grazer to return to the form she showed in her first two starts this year—the 6 ½ furlong hillside maiden win on Jan. 8 and a close second place finish as the 2-1 favorite to Ag Bullet in the one mile turf Lady of Shamrock on Feb. 12.
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, The Wild Grazer, who is a neck shy of having three wins from her four stateside starts, will be ridden for the first time by Hector Berrios.G3
Senoritas Stakes Field
Race 7 of 11 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
The Wild Grazer—Hector Berrios—122
Teena Ella—Edwin Maldonado—120
Ag Bullet—Joe Bravo—124
Tom’s Regret—Kyle Frey—124
Fast and Shiny—Abel Cedillo–124