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Aaron previews the 2023 Chandelier Stakes (G2) from Santa Anita Park, then gives his top picks & long shots from this “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Can maiden winner Dua bounce back from her last-out defeat while routing for the first time & give trainer Bob Baffert his record 13th win in this race? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Although winless in two starts sprinting, C R K Stable’s Gate to Paradise showed marked improvement in her most recent start and her connections are hopeful she’ll continue her ascendancy as she stretches out versus nine rival juvenile fillies at a mile and one sixteenth in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita.
The Chandelier is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race Qualifier, with the winner earning a fees-paid berth into the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.
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Trained by John Shirreffs, Gate to Paradise ran into a buzzsaw going seven furlongs in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante, as she finished third, beaten nine lengths by what appears to be a superstar in the making, the Richard Mandella-trained Tamara, who will train up to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Although she was well beaten, Gate to Paradise earned a respectable 73 Beyer Speed Figure, 10 points better than her debut third place performance versus eight maiden fillies going 5 ½ furlongs on Aug. 13.
By Arrogate out of the More Than Ready mare Heart of Paradise, Gate to Paradise sold for $950,000 at an Ocala, FLA 2-year-old in training sale this past March.
Given her running style and pedigree, Gate to Paradise gives every indication that she should improve around two turns with Kent Desormeaux back aboard.
While Gate to Paradise improved in her second start, Zedan Racing Stables’ Dua appeared to regress in the Grade III Sorrento Stakes Aug. 12, which followed a promising debut going five furlongs July 22 at Del Mar.
Off as the 3-5 favorite first time out, she pressed the pace and prevailed by a half length, earning a 73 Beyer.
Off at 9-5 versus six rivals in the six furlong Sorrento, Dua tired to finish third, beaten 10 ¾ lengths, earning a markedly lower 57 Beyer.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Dua, a filly by Arrogate out of the Consolidator mare Attempt to Name, will be ridden for the third consecutive time by Juan Hernandez and could very likely bounce back with a big effort stretching out.
First post time for a 10-race card that includes three other stakes, is at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.
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