Racing News

A Z Warrior, Rigoletta entered in La Habra

| BRISNET Editorial | 02/19/2011 #

One of the unintended consequences of this weekend's soaking rainstorm forecast for Southern California is that Monday's $100,000 La Habra S. (G3) has the potential to develop into a prep for the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Scheduled for about 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf, the La Habra might have to be moved to the main track if the turf does not dry out sufficiently. With that in mind, the connections of several fillies better known for their work on the main track were entered, including Frizette S. (G1) winner A Z WARRIOR (Bernardini) and Oak Leaf S. (G1) vixen RIGOLETTA (Concerto).

Though both have enjoyed success on synthetic surfaces, often an indicator for success on grass, it's more likely the La Habra's two Grade 1 winners will go if the race is transferred off the turf. A Z Warrior captured the Frizette in her dirt debut for Bob Baffert, but endured a rough trip in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and was not persevered with when trailing the field of 12. Rigoletta, after her half-length 32-1 upset of the Oak Leaf at Hollywood, was forced to miss the Breeders' Cup due to a splint injury. The cutback in distance is unlikely to negatively either filly as both won their maidens going 5 1/2 furlongs.

Five fillies that broke from the gate in the January 22 Sweet Life S. at the La Habra's intended distance and surface have also been entered. BLOEMER GIRL (Bertrando) led from the start and held off CLONEYLASS (Ire) (Verglas [Ire]) by a half-length in the Sweet Life. On pedigree, Bloemer Girl seems a more likely participant than Cloneylass should the La Habra be moved to the dirt, while the status of Sweet Life also-rans ADVANTAGE PLAYER (Bernstein), CAMBINA (Ire) (Hawk Wing) and SHE'LL HEIR (Wildcat Heir) are at best uncertain.

Also among the La Habra field are Landaluce S. winner DAWNIE MACHO (Macho Uno), sidelined since trailing the August 6 Sorrento S. (G3) at Del Mar, and multiple stakes winner CATHY'S CRUNCHES (West Acre), recent runner-up in the California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields.

Recent debut winner HOUT BAY (Harlan's Holiday) could factor if she draws in from the also-eligible list. Former European mainstays QUIET OASIS (Ire) (Oasis Dream [GB]) and LATIN LASHES (Stormy Atlantic) are also among those on the outside looking in, but are likely participants only if La Habra remains on the grass.