Manhattan Jungle Looks To Soar in Angels Flight

March 24, 2023

Manhattan Jungle scoring a tasty victory in the Sweet Life under Frankie Dettori on Feb. 12. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.—Trainer Michael McCarthy’s Irish-bred Manhattan Jungle will be bidding for her second consecutive hillside turf victory as she heads a field of six sophomore fillies going about 6 ½ furlongs in Sunday’s $100,000 Angels Flight Stakes at Santa Anita.

A promising second in her U.S. debut here, the one-mile turf Blue Norther Stakes Dec. 30, Manhattan Jungle was off as the even money favorite versus nine rivals in the ungraded Sweet Life Stakes Feb. 11 and rallied for an impressive three-quarter length victory under Frankie Dettori.

With Dettori out of town to ride in Dubai this week, current leading rider Juan Hernandez will be aboard for the first time in what will be Manhattan Jungle’s third local start. A winner of three out of her seven starts at age two in France, Manhattan Jungle is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and is 10-4-2-1 overall with earnings of $199,333.

Off at 17-1 in the Sweet Life, the Jeff Mullins-trained Ragtime Rose flew to be second, beaten three quarters of a length by Manhattan Jungle under Hector Berrios who, like Dettori, is not available to ride here on Sunday as he will be returning from Dubai. 

Accordingly, Ragtime Rose will be ridden for the first time by Ramon Vazquez for owners Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal. A six-furlong turf winner here in her second start here on Oct. 22, Ragtime Rose, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Union Rags, who was purchased for $525,000 out of an Ocala, FLA 2-year-old in training sale, is 5-1-2-0 as she seeks her first stakes win.

In terms of pedigree, Spendthrift Farms’ homebred Teena Ella holds a pair of aces, as she’s by top sire War Front out of the multiple Eclipse Champion Beholder. In her first start on turf, Teena Ella was most impressive, breaking her maiden going six furlongs by 1 ¼ lengths in her third start here on Feb. 12.

Trained by Richard Mandella, Teena Ella will be trying the hillside turf for the first time and be ridden for the first time by Kazushi Kimura, as regular rider Juan Hernandez has opted for likely favorite Manhattan Jungle.

Although victorious by 1 ½ lengths over Manhattan Jungle going one mile on turf three starts back in the Dec. 30 Blue Norther, Doug O’Neill’s Broadway Girls has finished off the board in her last two starts, most recently finishing sixth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths in the one-mile turf Lady of Shamrock stakes after showing the way to mid-stretch on Feb. 12. 

Purchased for a modest $60,000 as an Ocala, FLA 2-year-old in training grad, she’s owned by Stanley Cup Champion Eric Johnson’s ERJ Racing, LLC, Pappas Horse Racing Corp and Neil Haymes. Broadway Girls will also be trying the hillside turf for the first time and be ridden for the first time by Umberto Rispoli as she bids for her third win in her seventh overall start.

Winless in two turf tries, both at one mile, Bob Baffert’s Fast and Shiny comes off a solid neck win in a six-furlong allowance on the main track Feb. 19, which followed a third-place finish going seven furlongs on dirt in the Grade III Santa Ynez on Jan. 8.

A Kentucky-bred filly by Bernardini out of the Lion Hearted mare Spotted Heart, Fast and Shiny is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, who are hoping her good recent dirt form will translate to turf on Sunday. With two wins from six starts, Fast and Shiny will be ridden for the first time by Abel Cedillo as she her seeks her first stakes win.

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.

Great article by @Pastthewire

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