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ARCADIA, CA – After getting knocked off stride in the Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3) last time out, Quattroelle could win big in Thursday’s $75,000 Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita Park with a cleaner trip.
The Blue Norther is a mile route on turf restricted to 2-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the seventh event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 3:30 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Blue Norther:
1. Javanica 5/2 – Her third attempt in a stakes comes after finishing second in both prior tries, the 7-furlong Glorious Song on Woodbine’s synthetic and the 1-mile Jimmy Durante over Del Mar’s turf last time out. She broke her maiden going 1 mile at Arlington Park in September, so the distance should be no issue, and top local rider Flavien Prat hops back aboard.
2. Michalska 20/1 – She earned her ticket to this event by way of breaking her maiden by 4 3/4 lengths on debut while covering 5 1/2 furlongs on Del Mar’s main track. Not only must she try two turns and a new surface, but that success also came against fellow California-breds; this is a much tougher class test. Sire Jimmy Creed produces first-time turfers at a 9% clip.
3. Carpe Fortuna 6/1 – She was an okay sixth while debuting in a 5-furlong turf sprint at Del Mar in August, but she returned at the end of November to win a mile-long jaunt over the same course by 2 1/4 lengths. Trainer Peter Eurton saddled 5 starters on opening weekend, compiling 1 win and 3 runner-up efforts, and last-out jockey Mario Gutierrez rides back.
4. Quattroelle 5/2 – The Irish-bred filly finished third on debut while still in her native country, then moved to California and won her unveiling while running over this course and distance. She finished third in the Jimmy Durante (a neck behind Javanica) last time out despite the eventual winner knocking her off-course in the far turn and interrupting her rally.
5. Derby Quest 30/1 – She broke her maiden last time out in her fourth career start and first while in for a tag ($80k) after failing to threaten against tougher. The victory came going 1 mile on the Del Mar lawn and winning rider Geovanni Franco rides back for trainer Ruben Gomez; they’ve teamed up to win 5 of their past 26 shared mounts (19%).
6. Pizzazz 2/1 – The narrow morning line favorite may have moved a touch too early in the Jimmy Durante, as she led at the 1/8 pole but was swallowed up late and finished fourth. She was third in the Surfer Girl Stakes over this course and distance while still a maiden and should sit just off the early pace in a field that, on paper, is seemingly devoid of speedsters.
7. Royal Blend 20/1 – Speaking of speed, this maiden projects to be the early pacesetter as she tries both turf and two turns for the first time. Trainer Bob Hess Jr. claimed her for $50k out of her last effort, a 6-furlong Del Mar dirt sprint that she lost by a 1/2-length. Hess hits at 13% first off the claim and 12% with first-time turfers; sire Into Mischief is 14% with grass debuters.
8. Absolute Scenes 6/1 – After putting together a 3-1-0-1 record on British synthetic courses, this Irish-bred filly who arrived just two weeks ago chose this spot for her debut both on this continent and over this surface. Trainer Richard Baltas has won 17% overall on the year but has just 1 win from his last 16 international imports making their first stateside starts.
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