Thursday, October 23, 2008
LAS PALMAS FOURTH GRADED STAKES ON BREEDERS’ CUP FRIDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2008) – When the 25 th Breeders’ Cup World Championships commence on Friday at Santa Anita with the inaugural Ladies’ Day portion of the expanded two-day event, Oak Tree’s 39 th running of the Grade II, $250,000 Las Palmas Handicap will serve as the afternoon’s fourth graded stakes attraction.
Black Mamba, whose fortunes rose dramatically upon departing her native New Zealand last summer and joining trainer John Sadler’s barn, will carry high weight of 120 pounds among 14 entrants in the one-mile turf competition after running second to Naissance Royale in last year’s Las Palmas.
First post on the first day of Oak Tree’s Breeders’ Cup is at 11:05 a.m. Santa Anita parking gates will open at 7:30 a.m. with admission gates to be opened at 8 a.m.
The Breeders’ Cup races will begin at 12:35 p.m. with the inaugural running of the $1 million Sentient Flight Group Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at seven furlongs going as the third race.
Another inaugural event follows at 1:15 p.m.: the $1 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at one-mile. The Graded stakes contests ensue:
1:55 p.m. – Grade I, $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
2:35 p.m. – Grade I, $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at 1 ¼ miles.
3:15 p.m. – Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (formerly the Distaff) at 1 1/8 miles.
3:55 p.m. – Grade II, $250,000 Las Palmas Handicap at one-mile on turf.
Two other races round out the program with the tenth and final scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
The complete field for the Las Palmas with jockeys and weights in post position order: Black Mamba, Garrett Gomez, 120; Lightmyfirebaby, Victor Espinoza, 115; Zardana, Aaron Gryder, 115; Trick’s Pic, Joel Rosario, 115; Lemon Chiffon, David Flores, 114; Valbenny, Alex Solis, 117; Kris’ Sis, Michael Baze, 115; Passified, Mike Smith, 116; Moujane, Jose Valdivia Jr., 115; Bahama Mama, Kent Desormeaux, 116; Roshani, John Velazquez, 118; Rosinka, Jeremy Rose, 118; Gotta Have Her, Tyler Baze, 115, and America’s Friend, Chantal Sutherland, 114.
New Zealand-bred import Black Mamba has been remarkably consistent since winning her United States debut for Sadler, an allowance event at Del Mar in August of 2007. In this country, the 5-year-old bay mare has never been worse than third in 11 races, nine of them either Grade I or Grade II competitions.
While racing in New Zealand at the ages of 2 and 3, Black Mamba reached the winner’s circle but once, a maiden race, in ten starts. Her races in the Southern Hemisphere tend to blunt an overall record of 4-6-3 in 21 races for earnings of $647,171. She is owned by Doubledown Stables.
Black Mamba, nonetheless, is looking for her first victory in six starts over Santa Anita’s turf after finishing second three times and third three times. With Garrett Gomez in the saddle, she was finishing fastest of all in the Yellow Ribbon when winding up 1 3/4 lengths behind Wait a While. Her graded stakes victories in the United States both came with Gomez aboard: the Grade I John C. Mabee Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 3 and the Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 29. Black Mamba’s record at one mile is 2-3-1 in 7 races.
Two Eastern-based mares, Roshani and Rosinka, were assigned 118 pounds.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for Ben Mcelroy, Roshani has captured 6 of her 12 starts including a pair of Grade III stakes for earnings of $331,300. She won an optional claimer at one-mile in her only previous start over the Santa Anita grass. John Velazquez rides.
Irish-bred Rosinka has earned $619,226 while winning 7 of her 16 races. A Grade III winner for The Lavington Stud, the 5-year-old bay mare ran second in the Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational last year at Belmont Park and third most recently in the Grade I Spinster at Keeneland. Jeremy Rose has the mount for trainer Graham Motion.
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