G Laurie Leads Contentious Field Of 11 in Blue Norther 

December 28, 2022

G Laurie’s trainer Graham Motion (Benoit Photo)

Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif— G Laurie, third in the Grade I Natalma at Woodbine in her most recent start, has come west seeking a stakes victory in Friday’s $100,000 Blue Norther as field of 11 two-year-old fillies go a mile on the Santa Anita turf.

Prior to her promising run in the one-mile Natalma, G Laurie debuted with a romping six-length victory going mile on grass at Colonial Downs on Aug. 23 for trainer Graham Motion. The Oscar Performance filly arrived at Santa Anita earlier this month and worked a bullet last Thursday when completing four furlongs in 48 seconds. 

Madaket Stables’ G Laurie will be ridden by Juan Hernandez, who won four races on opening day including two Grade I’s.

Manhattan Jungle (IRE) is one of three trained by Michael McCarthy in the Blue Norther. Twice a stakes winner in Europe, Manhattan Jungle came stateside for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland and checked in eighth at 80-1 for previous trainer Amy Murphy on Nov. 4. She is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez.

The local contingent has several that are exiting the Grade III Jimmy Durante at Del Mar going this same trip on Dec. 3. Leading that group is Decorated My Life (IRE), who finished second at 20-1 in the Durante when making her U.S. bow for trainer Simon Callaghan. Owned by CYBT and Michael Nentwig, the Irish-bred daughter of Mehmas was 1-for-4 in her native country prior to shipping to the U.S.

Joe Bravo, who was aboard for the Durante, retains the mount on Decorated My Life.

Also exiting the Durante is Thebestisyettobe (IRE), who finished a troubled sixth at 4-1. She has top connections in her corner with trainer Phil D’Amato and jockey Flavien Prat but is relegated to the also-eligible list and would need a scratch to run.

First post time for a nine-race card on Friday is at 12 noon, with admission gates opening at 10 a.m.

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