Thursday, October 09, 2008
SWEETER STILL FACES SADLER PAIR IN SATURDAY’S RAMSER
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2008) – John Sadler, the leading trainer at this year’s Hollywood Park and Del Mar meets and who is contending for the current Oak Tree lead, will send out both Tasha’s Miracle and Dawn Before Dawn to face high-weighted Sweeter Still in Oak Tree’s 22nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Harold C. Ramser, Sr. Handicap on Saturday at Santa Anita.
An Irish-bred daughter of Rock of Gibraltar trained by Jeff Mullins for the David J. Lanzman Racing Stable, Sweeter Still was assigned 121 pounds for the event that matches 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.
1 ½ lengths away at the wire in her last seven starts that began with a maiden victory over the unique downhill layout.
“Both horses are doing well, and they’ll probably be the favorites in the race,” Sadler said of his pair. With Mike Smith in the saddle, Tasha’s Miracle will carry 118 pounds. Freshened since running second on July 26 in Del Mar’s Grade II San Clemente Handicap at one-mile on turf, Tasha’s Miracle will be competing in her ninth straight graded stakes race.
Weighted at 117 pounds and with Garrett Gomez set to ride, Dawn Before Dawn is coming off a wire-to-wire win in the $108,000 Torrey Pines Stakes over one-mile on turf at Del Mar on Aug. 31. The Sadler entrants will race uncoupled.
The complete field for the Ramser Handicap, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Sweeter Still, Martin Garcia, 121; Dawn Before Dawn, Garrett Gomez, 117; Porto Marmay, David Flores, 115; Set of Wings, Jose Valdivia Jr., 113; Solar Miss, Joel Rosario, 114; Tasha’s Miracle, Mike Smith, 118; Miss Singhsix, Tyler Baze, 116, and Gorgeous Goose, Rafael Bejarano, 116.
Originally conditioned by Ireland’s leading trainer, Aidan O’Brien, Sweeter Still made one unsuccessful start in her homeland before being shipped to the United States and a troubled ninth in the Grade III Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park last November. She subsequently has been a threat in each of her starts that include a triumph in the Grade III Senorita Stakes at Hollywood Park in May. Sweeter Still has banked $265,361.
With earnings of $334,792 from a 2-3-2 record in 10 starts for Budget Stable and Team Valor, Tasha’s Miracle is the most accomplished filly in the field. Her runner-up effort in the San Clemente was her first race over a grass surface. “It was a very good second in what was a very fast race (1:33 2/5),” noted Sadler. Tasha’s Miracle is a Florida-bred by Harlan’s Holiday.
Dawn Before Dawn, owned by Ike and Dawn Thrash, has raced six times on grass with two wins among her overall record of 4-1-0 in nine starts for earnings of $150,036. Santa Anita’s downhill course, however, will provide a new experience for the Kentucky-bred daughter of High Yield.
The Ramser will go as the eighth race on a nine-race program with first post at 12:30 p.m.
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