Trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale for celebrity chef Bobby Flay, Irish-bred Mrs Kipling attracted solid support in the American Oaks following a close second in Santa Anita’s Grade II Providencia Stakes, her U.S. debut, and a dominant 2 ½-length victory in Hollywood Park’s Grade III Senorita Stakes.
Saturday’s Ramser drew eleven entrants with another Irish-bred, Starlarks, high weighted at 119 pounds, one more than Mrs Kipling. Starlarks captured the Grade II San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar in August before finishing sixth, 2 ½ lengths behind victorious Internallyflawless, in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks.
Alex Solis rides Dolantori Racing’s Starlarks, who has won 2 of 8 starts in this country for trainer Paddy Gallagher. The bay filly, who began her career in England, has posted an overall record of 4-2-2 for earnings of $171,237 in 15 races. Rival Mrs Kipling has started but eight times with a record of 3-2-1 while earning $136,961.
The complete field for the Ramser with jockeys and weights in post position order: Century Park, Tyler Baze, 117; Minute Limit, Joel Rosario, 114; Air Fair, Joseph Talamo, 114; Starlarks, Alex Solis, 119; Malibu Win, Christian Santiago Reyes, 112; Mrs Kipling, David Flores, 118; Strawberry Tart, Mike Smith, 117; Point of Reference, Michael Baze, 115; Acting Lady, Rafael Bejarano, 117; April Pride, Garrett Gomez, 117, and Pride Dancer, Brice Blanc, 114.
Strawberry Tart defeated fourth-place Starlarks when taking Hollywood Park’s Flawlessly Stakes on July 3, but was nosed out by the latter in the San Clemente. She finished eighth to Starlark’s sixth in the Del Mar Oaks. Hall of Famer Mike Smith will handle the California-bred daughter of Atticus for trainer Jeff Bonde. Strawberry Tart has banked $182,625 with 4 wins from 9 starts for Mary Clare and George Schmidt.
Joel Rosario, the meet’s leading rider, has the call on lightly-raced Minute Limit, who will be making her stakes debut for Team Valor International and Gary Barber. Yet another Irish-bred in the lineup, Minute Limit lost by a nose to Starlarks in her U.S. debut, an optional claiming race last May. She returned to win a similar event for trainer John Sadler at Del Mar in August. Her career record is 2-2-0 in five starts for winnings of $54,119.
The Ramser will be contested as the eighth race on a nine race program that gets underway at 12:30 p.m.