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DEL MAR, CA – Trainer Todd Fincher’s impressive local maiden winner Smash Ticket leads a field of baby fillies loaded with burgeoning promise in Friday’s $200,000 Sorrento Stakes (G2) at Del Mar.
The Sorrento is a 6-furlong dirt sprint restricted to 2-year-old fillies that serves as the local prep for the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1) on September 5. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on an 8-race card and has a local post time of 7:07 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Sorrento:
1. She’s So Shiny 8/1 – She returns to the stakes ranks despite her maiden status through 2 starts while making her debut for new trainer Doug O’Neill. Sire Capo Bastone’s offspring have a combined 13% win rate as 2-year-olds and she was stakes-placed last time out in the 5 1/2-furlong Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park. O’Neill connects at 13% with experienced runners debuting under his name.
“We’ve only had her for about a week,” O’Neill assistant Leandro Mora said. “She ran two good races back east and she’s settled in well. She’s not acting too ‘greenish’ like some 2-year-old fillies can.”
2. Smash Ticket 9/5 – After finishing second on debut in a muddy 5-furlong Lone Star sprint, she shipped west to Del Mar and trounced her eight rivals by 8 lengths under Umberto Rispoli, who rides back for trainer Todd Fincher. She earned Beyer Speed Figures of 76 and 78 that tower over the rest of this field and her lone recorded work since her win suggests she’s holding her form.
“It was a pretty big ask for her to jump on a plane, fly across country, step off, and win,” Fincher said. “But she had shown a lot in her first race, so we had high expectations that she could. We think she’s got a really bright future.”
3. Eda 4/1 – She crossed the wire second but was placed first in her career debut after the original winner, Ko Olina, was disqualified for making contact in the stretch. Ko Olina was entered in Thursday’s CTBA Stakes for California-breds, so how she performs there could hint at this runner’s chances. Trainer Bob Baffert has won this race a record 7 times, most recently doing so in 2015.
4. Shesgotattitude 8/1 – She takes her third stab at trying to earn blacktype honors after failing to hit the board in either the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes or the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3), both at Churchill Downs. Those 2 starts came against males, but the Beyers she earned for those efforts place her at the bottom of this barrel. She broke her maiden running gate to wire on debut at Keeneland.
5. Loveherheart 15/1 – She gives stakes action a second try after finishing fourth in the Fasig-Tipton Debutante Stakes at Santa Anita Park last time out. She earned a 56 Beyer for breaking her maiden gate to wire at second asking in a 5-furlong dirt sprint, but she was well-beaten on debut to At the Spa, the Fasig-Tipton Debutante winner who could return again here.
6. It’s Simple 6/1 – O’Neill’s second entry cross-entered Thursday’s CTBA Stakes against fellow California-breds, the same type that she beat by 5 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita Park in her lone career start on June 12. Two of the runners she defeated that day returned to win next out while earning Beyers of 62 and 61, and she has early speed to be in it from the start.
7. Sax 10/1 – She debuts in California for new trainer Phil D’Amato after a new majority owner bought in following her head victory in a 5-furlong Churchill Downs dirt sprint in her second start. The field she defeated was restricted to entries from horses who sold for $45k or less at auction, so her class is questionable, but D’Amato has a 24% win rate with experienced runners debuting for his barn.
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8. First Promise 20/1 – After finishing a well-beaten fourth behind At the Spa on debut, she dropped down to the $50k maiden claiming level and won gate to wire in a 5-furlong Los Alamitos sprint. Was it the experience, the class drop, or the addition of blinkers that assisted her that day? Her first start against winners has her third jockey in as many starts; apprentice Jessica Pyfer rides here.
9. Elm Drive 5/2 – D’Amato’s second entry was a sparkling 8-length winner on debut in a 5-furlong Los Alamitos sprint at the end of June, and the runner-up that day broke her maiden next out (albeit for a $50k tag and while only earning a 48 Beyer). She finished the race still seemingly full of gusto and keeps the riding services of Juan Hernandez, who wins 24% when riding for D’Amato at Del Mar.
10. Roses for Suzzett 20/1 – Her connections didn’t bother entering her in the CTBA Stakes to face fellow California-breds in her second start after she broke her maiden on debut against her own kind while risked for a $50k tag. Trainer Sal Gonzalez handles 2-year-olds well, winning with them at a 19% clip that carries a positive ROI, and apprentice rider Emily Ellingwood retains the mount.
11. At the Spa 5/1 – She’ll scratch after winning Thursday’s CTBA Stakes.
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