The Wild Grazer winning an allowance at Santa Anita Jan. 8 (Benoit Photo)
Special Early First Post Time On Big Game Sunday Is At 11 A.M.
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— Unbeaten in a pair of Southern California turf sprints, Irish-bred The Wild Grazer figures prominently among a field of seven sophomore fillies as she tries two turns for the first time in Sunday’s $100,000 Lady of Shamrock Stakes at one mile over the Santa Anita turf.
Trained by Jeff Mullins and owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, The Wild Grazer was an impressive 2 ¼ length winner of her U.S. debut, a five-furlong turf maiden special weight at Del Mar Nov. 24. Off as the 9-5 favorite in a first condition allowance race coming down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course Jan. 8, The Wild Grazer strode clear late under a hand ride from Juan Hernandez to prevail by 1 ¼ lengths.
Winless in a pair of seven-furlong turf tries in her native Ireland this past summer, The Wild Grazer has had three works on Santa Anita’s inner training track since her Jan. 8 win, the most recent a five-furlong drill in 1:03.20 this past Sunday. With leading man Hernandez back aboard for the third consecutive time, The Wild Grazer should be well positioned to garner her first added money victory.
A gate to wire winner of the ungraded Blue Norther at one mile on turf her two starts back on Dec. 30, Doug O’Neill’s Broadway Girls was subsequently overmatched on dirt in the Grade III, one mile Las Virgenes and tired to be a well beaten sixth.
With a return to turf and Edwin Maldonado sticking with her, Broadway Girls should rebound with a big effort and front-running tactics would be no surprise. Owned by Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup champion defenseman Erik Johnson’s ERJ Racing, LLC, Pappas Horse Racing Corp and Neil Haymes, Broadway Girl, who has two wins from five starts, is a Kentucky-bred filly by Army Mule out of the Midnite Lute mare Fond Hope.
Well beaten in her six-furlong maiden debut on dirt Nov. 12 at Del Mar, the George Papaprodromou-trained Ag Bullet blasted off and never looked back here on Jan. 22, as she galloped by 3 ¼ lengths going 6 ½ furlongs out of the turf chute, earning a race-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure.
With Joe Bravo back aboard on Sunday, Ag Bullet, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Twirling Candy out of the Forestry mare Noble Grey, should be forwardly placed in her third career start for owners Calvin Nguyen and Joey Tran.
Special early first post time for an eight-race card on Big Game Sunday is at 11 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9 a.m. The Lady Of Shamrock is race 8 of 8, approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT.