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Chandelier Preview: D’Amato Sends Three After First Title
Ain't Easy (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Chandelier Preview: D’Amato Sends Three After First Title

ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Phil D’Amato is slated to send out a trio of potential superstars – Ain’t Easy, Desert Dawn, and Elm Drive – hoping to earn their barn its first title in Friday’s $200,000 Chandelier Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

The Chandelier is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to 2-year-old fillies that serves as the sixth event on a 9-race card with a local post time of 3:36 PM. The race is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar this November.

Additionally, the Chandelier is part of the Road to the 2022 Kentucky Oaks prep race season that awards 10 points to the winner, 4 for second, 2 for third, and 1 for fourth.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Chandelier:

1. Electric Ride 3/1 – She was one of the most impressive debut winners of the entire Del Mar summer meet when she pressed the pace and crushed a talented field going 6 furlongs on dirt at 9/2 odds. Bettors won’t get that same price as she faces winners and stretches out to route for the first time while exiting from the rail draw; no insignificant hurdles, but there’s also no telling how good she could be.

2. Ain’t Easy 5/2 – She looked like a total pro when breaking her maiden on debut by 5 1/4 lengths while traveling 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar in a race that saw the third-place finisher win next out. She settled inside runners before responding to jockey Joel Rosario’s cues and winning easily, and her granddam is a half-sister to Grade 1-winning dirt router Cupid, so she should handle the distance test.

3. Dance to the Music 5/1 – She broke her maiden on debut in gate to wire fashion against a very deep field while covering 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar in July. She then pressed a suicidal pace in the 7-furlong Del Mar Debutante (G1) but finished second, well ahead of the other speed horses. She’ll need to ration her speed while tackling two turns for the first time, but if she does, watch out.

4. Grace Adler 9/5 – She broke her maiden on debut while getting up in the last strides, looking like she wanted to run much farther than that 5-furlong distance. She sat well off the Del Mar Debutante pace before exploding in the turn and winning by 11 1/4 lengths, and her breeding suggests that she’ll love going longer still. The $700k yearling purchase is a half-sister to a Grade 2-placed dirt router.

5. Desert Dawn 15/1 – She holds the distinction of being the only runner with a route victory on her resume that she accomplished last out in her second start when she took back early before powering home in the stretch to win by 4 1/4 lengths going 1 mile. She should have no trouble navigating this trip and jockey Ricky Gonzalez remains the only race rider this Arizona-bred Cupid filly has known.

6. Elm Drive 8/1 – She won her first 2 starts including the 6-furlong Sorrento Stakes (G2), but she raced between rivals on the front end in the Del Mar Debutante before dropping anchor and easing across the wire. Her sire Mohaymen won 3 graded dirt route stakes early in his career, but her dam side is a bit sprint-heavy. Jockey Juan Hernandez keeps the mount and wins at a 20% clip for the barn.

7. Censorship 12/1 – The 3-start maiden might have gotten the job done last time out had she not stumbled badly at the start. She rushed up to race three-wide and later took the lead in the far turn, but she ran out of gas in the stretch and took second to Desert Dawn. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez takes the mount on a filly who looks bred to run about as far as they’ll let her go.

Churchill Downs Incorporated announced September 10 that points from any race earned in the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series will not be awarded to any horse trained by any individual who is suspended from racing in the 2022 Kentucky Oaks (G1) or any trainer directly or indirectly employed, supervised, or advised by a suspended trainer. This rule applies to Grace Adler and Censorship, both trained by Bob Baffert, who was suspended from the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks for 2 years following Medina Spirit’s confirmed drug violation.

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