Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella will send out a talented pair of turf fillies in the $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes (GI) at 1 1/4 miles, an event that drew a full field of the best grass females on the West Coast. The race is the last springboard to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (GI) and the winner is guaranteed a spot in the gate for the race on November 4.
Ramona Bass’ Avenge is fresh off back-to-back victories at Del Mar, including the John C. Mabee Stakes (GIIT) and the 4-year-old War Front filly will again be ridden by hot jock Flavien Prat, who has been aboard for four of her wins.
Argentine-bred Sobradora Inc has only lost once in her brief six-race career, finishing fifth in the Mabee to Avenge. Saturday will be her third U.S. start for trainer Simon Callaghan and owner Katsumi Yoshida of the Japanese racing Yoshida dynasty and will once again have Rafael Bejarano back in the irons.
Majestic Heat is Mandella’s other runner in the race and the daughter of top California stallion Unusual heat was the winner of a one mile turf allowance at Santa Anita in June, and most recently,won the Solana Beach Stakes at Del Mar August 14. Gary Stevens will be back aboard for the partnership of Aurbach, McCauley and Bardy.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux will tighten the girth on Decked out and the Big Chief Racing, LLC, Head of Plains Partners, LLC and Gene Voss colorbearer starts in her sixth straight graded stakes. She’s returning off a runner-up finish in the Del Mar Oaks (GI) on August 20.
Post time for the Rodeo Drive, which is the day’s 8th and is set to leave the gate at 4:09 p.m. PT.