Gifted Justique Leads Field in GII Chandelier 

October 6, 2022

Breeders’ Cup ‘Win & You’re In’ Challenge Race Qualifier

ARCADIA, Calif.— C R K Stable’s Justique, an impressive first-out winner that would appear to be much better suited routing, rates top billing among a talented field of seven juvenile fillies who will each be trying two turns for the first time in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Chandelier Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

A Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race Qualifier, the winner of the Chandelier will earn a fees-paid berth into the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 4 at Keeneland.

Trained by John Shirreffs and ridden by Victor Espinoza, Justique was off slowly and devoid of early foot in her 5 ½ furlong debut July 31 at Del Mar, but hit her best stride around the far turn and won with consummate ease while geared down some three lengths clear of next-out winner Home Cooking in an eye-catching effort.

By 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify out of the Bernardini mare Grazie Millie, Justique sold for $725,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling and has every right to be any kind of filly.

Huntingcoco (Ernie Belmonte)

Huntingcocoone of two Bob Baffert entrants, was a scintillating first-out maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs on Sept. 4, winning by 6 ¾ lengths while earning a Chandelier-best last out Beyer Speed Figure of 77.  She’ll get a new rider in Edwin Maldonado, as Ramon Vazquez has apparently opted to stick with Grade I Del Mar Debutante winner And Tell Me Nolies.

Owned by Villa Rosa Farm, Inc. and Harlo Stable, Huntingcoco is a Pennsylvania-bred filly by Practical Joke out of the Maria’s Mon mare Sulis.

And Tell Me Nolies (Ernie Belmonte)

Trained by Peter Miller, And Tell Me Nolies was dismissed at 9-1 in the Del Mar Debutante, but ran down heavily favored Home Cooking to win by a head in a solid effort.  A game neck maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on Aug. 14, she’ll be ridden for the fourth consecutive time by Ramon Vazquez as she tries a route of ground for the first time.

Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd., And Tell Me Nolies is by Arrogate out of the Exchange Rate mare Be Fair.  Kentucky-bred, she earned a 71 Beyer in winning the Del Mar Debutante.

Home Cooking (Ernie Belmonte)

A 9 ¼ length maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs on Aug. 21, Home Cooking was subsequently off as the 3-5 favorite in the Del Mar Debutante.  Although she bobbled slightly leaving the gate, Home Cooking appeared to have the Debutante won as she led by three lengths a furlong out but shortened stride and was tagged on the money by And Tell Me Nolies.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Home Cooking, by Honor Code out of the Hard Spun mare Olympic Avenue, has been favored in all three of her races.

First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m.

GRADE II CHANDELIER, Race 6, post 3:30 PM PT
1. NAUGHTY LOTTIE          Ryan Curatolo           Justin Jeansonne
2. ICE DANCING                  Umberto Rispoli        Richard Mandella
3. HOME COOKING             Mike Smith                Bob Baffert
4. HUNTINGCOCO              Edwin Maldonado     Bob Baffert
5. AND TELL ME NOLIES    Ramon Vazquez       Peter Miller
6. UNCONTROLLABLE        Juan Hernandez       Michael McCarthy
7. JUSTIQUE                       Victor Espinoza         John Shirreffs

Santa Anita Press Release
Main photo: Justique (Ernie Belmonte)

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