Las Cienegas Stakes – Grade III
SA Race #5 6f Turf Graded Stake
Purse $100.000 For Fillies And Mares Four Years Old And Upward.
1 Mrs Nussbaums Credit Arindel Fuentes Ru
These early season four and up races is normally where we see the four year olds run into trouble as they lose their weight allowance advantage. This daughter of Niagra had a fair season last year winning the Mabee Stakes by a nose but didn’t do enough with the weight allowance to suggest she could handle a four year old season without marked improvement.
Now whilst the improvement is not obvious i do think that this drop back to six furlongs will suit as will the ace draw, whether that is enough will be answered at 16:51 on the 9th.
2 Illustrious Cat John Henry Franco G
Bought for $120 in the summer she was pretty disappointing in her three efforts for the new trainer but gets her chance now as the weight allowance goes away and she has not only the advantage of being 5 but the best draw in the race. Most of her recent form is over longer trips but at HRP a router going back to sprinting often makes no difference so with a draw that should allow her to keep up early on she may just have enough at the end to win.
3 Diva Delite D J C Racing Stables Velazquez J
This lightly raced winner of five from eleven maybe at a disadvantage because of her age but she may just be good enough to overcome it. A winner twice at ungraded level she has always looked more of a sprinter to me even though one of those wins came over the mile. Her recent form is tainted by two off track runs but taking them out and her figures look pretty good. A winning chance from this draw.
4 Sierra Madre Spankys Barn Rosario J
Behind Diva Delite in the KD Ladies Sprint she of course gets the weight back today so will much closer to that runner in this race. I think she has a little to find to win this but it wouldn’t be a complete surprise.
5 Z Laffy One Ace Racing Stable Prat F
Nine wins including the grade three Buffalo Trace Franklin County suggest this one is in the right field for a win. Sure to appreciate the level weights she would be a chance.
6 Return Of The Devil Straight Arrow Gonzalez Ru
A consistent sort she finally broke her maiden in September but has improved steadily and deserves a shot here as she clicks through her levels. I don’t think she is quite ready for this race but it could be a good measure as to where her future lies.
7 Zee Model Gdp Inc Gutierrez Mario
This five year old looks like the form choice to win this but is getting handicapped by the outside draw. The winner of the Goldikova and The Wilshire Stakes last year she was also a head second in the grade one First Lady giving her the clearest winning form lines of any runner. The only fear for her is her best races have all been over further and this wide gate will only really give her two ways of running and both may be tough. If she uses the wide gate to go froward she may run out of puff and if she goes back she may get too far back. Its a conundrum for the trainer but they are good enough to work it out.
Zee Model is the form choice but the outside gate is a worry. If the race engine beats her then it may be Z Laffy One or Illustrious Cat that capitalizes.