DEL MAR, Calif.— Young female horses – all of them having first seen light of day in The Golden State – will further their education at Del Mar Thursday afternoon when they match up in the 68th edition of the $100,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes, the feature attraction on an eight-race program.
None of these fillies has run the CTBA distance of five and one-half furlongs yet, so that will be part of their learning. Only two of the nine have competed at Del Mar so far, so that’s something new, too, for most. But eight of the nine have found out what it’s like to visit the winner’s circle after a race, so probably for one of them it won’t be a big surprise for that to happen if they run fastest Thursday.
The CTBA is one of the eight Golden State Series races that are being conducted at Del Mar this summer. They are part of a 36-race arrangement run at five different tracks in the state for California-bred or sired runners that are part of the $4.35 million sequence.
Two of the fillies will draw their fair share of looks and wagers Thursday when the dash goes off as the day’s 7th Race. They would be Lovingier, Beckerie or Carrillos’ At the Spa and C T R Stables’ Ko Olina.
The former, a daughter of the Ghostzapper stallion Shaman Ghost, has been to the post twice and come away a winner on both occasions. She opened her career on May 7 at Santa Anita and clicked by seven lengths going four and a half furlongs in an open maiden special weight affair. She came back at the same track on June 20 and proved best once again, this time by two and a quarter length in the Fasig-Tipton Debutante Stakes, a five-furlong test that drew only five runners.
Jorge Periban trains the bay lassie and Tyler Baze rode her in both starts. He gets the call once more for Thursday.
Ko Olina has the most experience in the lineup with four starts already under her belt. The juvenile by the Malibu Moon stallion Stanford ran three times at Santa Anita earlier, finishing first across the line in the third one on June 19. Unfortunately, she was disqualified that day and placed second for drifting out and bumping a rival. The bay miss came back at Del Mar on July 18 and was first across the line once more – and this time it counted.
Jockey Edwin Maldonado rode Ko Olina in her winning race and trainer Luis Mendez has chosen to put him back up again for her CTBA start.
Here’s the full field for the filly sprint from the rail out with riders and owners:
1. Madiha (Umberto Rispoli, Lovingier, Hadiha or Navarro)
2. At the Spa (Tyler Baze, Lovingier, Beckerie or Carrillos)
3. Lion’s Lair (Tiago Pereira, Moger or Eriksen)
4. Gianna’s Wild Cat (apprentice Jessica Pyfer, Sunnyside Capital Ventures)
5. Carmen Miranda (Geovanni Franco, Nick Alexander)
6. Irish Wahine (Abel Cedillo, Neary Racing or Moger)
7. It’s Simple (Mario Gutierrez, Reddam Racing)
8. Ko Olina (Edwin Maldonado, C T R Stables)
9. Drizella (Juan Hernandez, Ko Olina, and William Peeples)
All horses carry 120 lbs. except Madiha (118) and At the Spa (122).
First post Thursday is 2 p.m.
Del Mar thoroughbred Club Press Release, (Edited)
At the Spa © Benoit Photo