ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2019)–Highly regarded Irish-bred Croughavouke heads a competitive field of nine sophomore fillies in Sunday’s $75,000 Blue Norther Stakes, to be contested at one mile over the Santa Anita turf. Most recently fourth in the one mile turf Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes Nov. 30 at Del Mar, Croughavouke will be making her fifth consecutive start at one mile on turf for trainer Jeff Mullins.
Second, beaten 2 ¾ lengths in the Durante, owner Gary Barber’s Laura’s Light, who was off at odds of 24-1, will be making her second start for trainer Peter Miller and can be expected to once again go to the early lead under Abel Cedillo.
A deep closer, trainer Leonard Powell’s French-bred Guitty, who was unable to rally from off the pace when finishing eighth in the Durante, will be shooting for her third one mile turf win in her last four starts.
Named for the winner of the 1964 Santa Susana Stakes (now run as the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks), Grade I Kentucky Oaks and Grade I Ashland Stakes, Blue Norther, who was conditioned by Wally Dunn, won all five of her 1964 starts.
Owner: Red Baron’s Barn & Rancho Temescal
Trainer: Jeff Mullins
A sharp second in her U.S. debut, the ungraded Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar Sept. 2, Croughavouke has been winless in four starts for Mullins but takes a drop in class in the Blue Norther. Second, beaten three quarters of a length in the one mile turf Surfer Girl Stakes here on Oct. 6, she gave a good account of herself when an even sixth, beaten 4 ½ lengths in the one mile Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf here on Nov. 1. She’ll be ridden for the first time by Italian jockey Umberto Rispoli, who is being represented by top agent Ron Anderson.
Owner: Gary Barber
Trainer: Peter Miller
A handy 2 ½ length first-out maiden special weight winner going six furlongs on synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields Nov. 2, this Kentucky-bred daughter of Constitution was subsequently purchased privately and debuted for Barber and Miller when second in the Grade III Durante at one mile on turf Nov. 30. Based at San Luis Rey Downs, Laura’s Light earned a Blue Norther-best 85 Beyer Speed figure in the Durante and a repeat of that performance makes her a very solid contender.
Owner: Benowitz Family Trust, Madaket Stables, LLC, M. Mathiesen & M. Powell
Trainer: Leonard Powell
Second in a 12-horse maiden race going 6 ½ furlongs on turf in her native France June 13, Guitty rallied from off the pace as the 9-5 favorite to take her U.S. debut for Powell, a one mile maiden special weight on Sept. 2 at Del Mar. Subsequently first as the 2-1 favorite in a one mile turf allowance Nov. 9 at Del Mar, she was then a non-factor while finishing eighth in the Grade III Durante Nov. 30. She’ll hope for a fast pace in the Blue Norther as she gets the first time services of Ron Anderson’s top gun, Joel Rosario.
THE $75,000 BLUE NORTHER STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 10 Approximate post time 3:00 p.m. PT
- Lighthouse–Drayden Van Dyke–120
- Guitty–Joel Rosario–120
- Parkour–Flavien Prat–120
- Madame Bourbon–Joe Talamo–120
- Overjoyed–Mike Smith–120
- Laura’s Light–Abel Cedillo–120
- Blue Sky Baby–Tyler Baze–120
- Croughavouke–Umberto Rispoli–120
- Little Bird–Geovanni Franco–120
First post time for a 10-race card on Sunday is at 11:30 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.