By Emily Shields
The Sunday feature at Santa Anita Park is the $75,000 Kalookan Queen Stakes, named for the Bruce Headley-trained millionaire who ran from 1999 through 2002. She defeated males in the Ancient Title (G1) en route to a fifth place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
A field of five has gathered, with a Bob Baffert-trained duo of #2 Flor de La Mar (4-1) and #4 Mother Mother (8-5). Blinkers come off Mother Mother for this; she was third in the grade 1 La Brea on December 28 in her first start since May 3. She is a multiple grade 1-placed stakes winner and was well considered to bring a $450,000 purchase price as a yearling. Joel Rosario is back aboard the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile.
Flor de La Mar is a $500,000 purchase by Tiznow. She broke her maiden here a year ago, then ran second in the grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks before going to the sidelines last summer. She returned at Los Alamitos in September to win the Beverly J Lewis Stakes, but was fourth as a strong favorite in an October 10 mile race here. She has had time off since, and gets Drayden Van Dyke for this.
#5 Lady Ninja (7-5) is the choice here. She is six for 11 on the track and has two wins at the 6 ½ furlong distance, including the L A Woman (G3) here October 5. That earned her a shot at the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), where she didn’t make an impact, but the Richard Baltas trainee loves the track, loves the distance, and gets Flavien Prat back aboard; the pair have five wins together.
#3 Show It N Moe It (5-1) is a tough five-year-old California-bred by Grace Upon Grace. She has five wins over this track and 11 top three efforts in 15 starts. Rafael Bejarano is back aboard today; she comes off a second-place effort in the Betty Grable at Del Mar in November. Her last win was a six-furlong stakes here last February, and she has been multiple graded stakes placed since.
#1 Exuberance (8-1) rounds out the field. She has been top three in six of 10 starts here, but seeks her first win at the distance. Ian Kruljac trains the daughter of Archarcharch, who gets Abel Cedillo for the first time. She has not run since August, but has had seven workouts in the current form cycle to prepare for her comeback.
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