Trainer John Terranova and Laragh, entered in the $429,500 Hollywood Starlet on Saturday, were making themselves comfortable in the Bob Baffert stable here Thursday, just as Baffert and his horses do when they ship to New York and reside in the Terranova barn at Belmont Park.
“She just walked this morning,” said Terranova. “She flew in last night. It was an uneventful trip. She was on a Fed Ex flight from Newark to LAX with Silver Stetson Man (a Baffert trainee).”
“She has shipped several times, and there has never been a problem,” added Terranova. “She’s a classy filly. She breezed just before she left New York. She will school in the paddock this afternoon and gallop tomorrow. She’s all set. I’m just trying to keep her happy.”
Laragh, one of five supplementary entries in the lineup, will break from post two in a field of seven under Edgar Prado in the Grade I test at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track.
“She’s broken well every time she’s run,” said Terranova. “She has been a front-runner lately, but she would have no problem sitting off another horse if it wanted the lead.
“She’s a good-feeling filly who loves to train,” continued Terranova. “She’s very smart, very aware, but not a nervous filly. She’s very mature mentally. She’s very easy to be around.
“She couldn’t be doing any better,” concluded Terranova. “She hasn’t lied to us yet, so I don’t expect her to now.”
Laragh, a gray/roan daughter of Tapit, has won two of five starts and earned $246,365 for co-owners IEAH Stable, Golden Goose Enterprises and Pegasus Holdings.
The Baffert barn here will host three-sevenths of the Starlet lineup. Baffert, a two-time Starlet winner, entered Toro Bonito and Wynning Ride, both expected to ship here today from Santa Anita.
“BACK” BACK FOR FUTURITY; “REVENGE” FIRES BULLET
Backbackbackgone, who suffered his first defeat in four starts in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes, will probably try to rebound in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 20, according to trainer Peter Miller.
“We’re definitely leaning toward it,” the San Luis Rey Downs-based trainer said Thursday. “We worked him five furlongs in 1:01 breezing Sunday with blinkers on, and he may run with blinkers. He will work again, three-quarters, on Saturday.”
Backbackgone was bumped at the start of the seven-furlong Hollywood Prevue on Nov. 23, dueled for the lead from the inside on the backstretch, and fought on gamely before weakening in deep stretch to finish fifth, beaten by 2 ½ lengths.
“He never got a breather in his last race,” said Miller. “I think he will be on the lead in the Futurity with blinkers. I’m not sure he can get the distance, but there is only one way to find out.”
The Grade I Futurity will be run at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track. Backbackbackgone has never raced beyond seven furlongs. Prior to the Prevue, he had won sprints at three different tracks, breaking his maiden at 4 ½ furlongs at Bay Meadows and winning the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs here in May, and returning in October for a nose victory in the Goodman Stakes at six furlongs at Santa Anita.
The Florida-bred chestnut colt, a $65,000 purchase at the OBS March Sale, has earned $114,440 for Gerson Racing and Charleville Stables.
Miller seeks his second Grade I stakes victory. He won the 2007 Del Mar Debutante with longshot Set Play.
I Want Revenge showed his readiness for the Futurity by working seven furlongs in a bullet 1:25.20 under jockey Joseph Talamo Thursday.
“The last eighth in 11 and three,” said a pleased Bobby Troeger, assistant to trainer Jeff Mullins.
I Want Revenge broke his maiden at the Futurity distance of 1 1/16 miles with a wire-to-wire effort on opening day of the meet. “He will do whatever you ask,” said Troeger. “When he’s gone short, he’s come off the pace. But the other day, he was the only speed and went to the front.”
STARLET RUNNER-UP RETURNS FOR DAHLIA
Grace and Power, who was shipped from Maryland to run second behind Country Star in the Hollywood Starlet last year, has been shipped to California again, this time to run in the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap, closing-day feature here Dec. 21.
“She’s been here ten days,” trainer David Hofmans said from Santa Anita. “That’s why the owner sent her out to me: to run in the Dahlia.” The 3-year-old filly is owned by famed New York chef-restaurateur Bobby Flay.
“I met him once at the Breeders’ Cup and he called me and asked if I could take the filly,” said Hofmans. “She looks terrific. She’s worked here once and will work one more time next week for the Dahlia.”
Grace and Power, previously trained by Steve Klesaris, comes off a fifth-place finish in an allowance race at Woodbine on Nov. 23 — her first start in six months.
“She’s had a prep race,” said Hofmans. “She will probably stay here for the La Canada Series after the Dahlia.” Victor Espinoza has the Dahlia call.
The Grade II Dahlia is for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Leading nominees include Vacare and Valbenny.
Nominees also include five European females scheduled to arrive here next week. Three will go to the barn of Patrick Biancone, who said he will probably enter at least one of the trio of Allicansayiswow from Ireland, and Belliflore and Place de L’Etoile from France.
The other two European shippers are Belle Allure, trained by Rupert Pritchard-Gordon in France, and Don’t Forget Faith, trained by Clive Cox in England.