Wilshire Stakes (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile on the Turf
May 1, 2022
Sunday racing at SA will feature the 16th running of the Grade 3 Wilshire Stakes and it will send a field of five one mile around the turf course. The purse for the race is $100.000, something it has always been since the race’s inception in 2006. My first impression of this field is that it is incredibly balanced. That can be a bit of a cliche in these previews, but there are no headliners in this field, and also no horses that you look at and wonder why they are here. Right now, it is all the rage to say that the break out of the gate is greatly important, and that is certainly true. But in this race, if it is possible, I think that is even more of the case. Last year, the race was won by Angelos Stable and Phoe Eva, and it was her first graded win. Since then, that mare has taken off, and now has four graded wins to her credit. Our field of five would love to follow that lead. Let’s meet them!
#1- Emo Storm (Arindel, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- In terms of picking up a check for her trainer, Emo Storm is perfect, never finishing lower than fourth in her ten starts. That probably continues here, but she is going to have to get out of the gate a lot better than her last start, the Royal Heroine. Fortunately for her, I don’t expect to pace to be as fast.
#2- Along Comes Mary (La Canada Racehorses, ridden by V Espinoza)- A horse that, maybe, you almost want to write off, given her last three starts where she was beaten a combined 26 lengths. But before that, she had a good showing in an optional claimer at CD that she won. So, if she can find that version of herself here, then don’t entirely dismiss her.
#3- Charlotte de Shark (Aarons Hosses, ridden by U Rispoli)- Has not been raced as much as the others in here, with just seven races, and she is a four year old. The trainer picked her up in the September 2021 auction for $60.000, and has gotten two wins out of her in three optional claimers, with a second in the other. That goes back to October 2021, but this is a much deserved, and probably overdue chance at this level.
#4- Ihaveasecret (Nakamura Stables, ridden by E Maldonado)- If you wanted to make the case that this race does indeed have a clear favorite, this is probably the horse you have in mind. She’s won five of ten, and three of five when on the grass. She placed second in the Grade 1 American Oaks in December, so there is much to love. This is my pick, but her run in the Pegasus F & M Turf concerns me a little bit. But this isn’t that race.
#5- Sacred Scrolls (La Canada Racehorses, ridden by A Cedillo)- A productive six year old mare that has been first or second in 10 of her 17 races and might be on the best form of her career right now. That’s almost like how Phoe Eva looked heading into the 2021 race. Ran fourth in the Grade 3 Fox in her last start (won by, obviously, Phoe Eva), and was a length behind Emo Storm.