- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
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- 11 - Majestic Presence,
- 1 - Sunday Sonnet,
- 5 - Sharla Rae,
- 12 - Lutine Belle,
- 8 - Manahatta,
- 7 - Morning Coffee
- 10 - Dad's Princess
- 6 - Maybellene
- 9 - Cruisingtheharbor
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Angela Renee shines in Chandelier
Siena Farm LLC's homebred Angela Renee saved ground on the backstretch of Saturday's Grade 1, $301,750 Chandelier at Santa Anita Park, angled out rounding the turn under jockey Rafael Bejarano and held off the determined late run from 2-1 favorite Conquest Eclipse to score a 1 1/2-length victory.
Sunday Sonnet and Angela Renee were quickest from the gate, but were quickly swamped by Manahatta heading into the first turn. That one went wide, allowing Sunday Sonnet to reclaim the lead and set fractions of :23, :46 4/5 and 1:12.
Bejarano settled Angela Renee into a stalking spot just behind the top two, who were joined by Morning Coffee on the backstretch run. Manahatta and Morning Coffee faded entering the final turn, but Conquest Eclipse was coming fast on the outside. Angela Renee quickly moved off the rail to join the favorite outside of Sunday Sonnet and was going best of all in the lane to finish 1 1/16 miles on the fast dirt in 1:43 2/5.
"I knew Conquest Eclipse was going to be tough to beat and I knew that Sunday Sonnet was going to be the speed. I got us right into the race and when I saw Sunday Sonnet go to the lead, I just tried to stay right behind. They showed us the trip. When we got to the stretch I made sure we were clear and I knew Conquest Eclipse was coming so we got the jump on her and we won," Bejarano explained.
"I would love to be on her in the Breeders' Cup. I knew she didn't give me everything today and I'm pretty sure she was saving it for next time."
The Todd Pletcher-trained juvenile miss paid $7.20 for her first stakes win after being sent off the 5-2 second choice. She also earned an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies via the "Win & You're In" Challenge series.
Conquest Eclipse proved best-of-the-rest in second while Danette filled out the top three another 3 1/2 lengths back.
"This is her first time going two turns, so she ran really good," jockey Corey Nakatani praised his mount, Conquest Eclipse. "She broke hard and she kind of slipped away from there. We tracked the winner pretty good, and she got the right trip. She's definitely a special filly and I love the way she's moving forward."
"She learned a lot today. She had nowhere to go there for a while and it's a learning experience," noted the favorite's trainer, Mark Casse. "This sets her up well for the (Breeders' Cup) Juvenile Fillies."
"I can't wait to ride her in the Breeders' Cup," Kent Desormeaux said of Danette, who entered the Chandelier still looking for a first career victory. "A maiden third in a Grade I? If it wouldn't be for my brother, I don't know what I'd think of it, but I'm very proud of his effort as much as hers."
"It was an excellent effort for a maiden, don't you think?" Keith Desormeaux agreed. "She made up ground, then sort of leveled off the last eighth, so we might want to put some reins on our ambitions.
"I don't know. We'll have to talk about it," he added about entering the filly in the Breeders' Cup. "It would be an ambitious undertaking for a maiden to run in the Breeders' Cup. We might take a more plausible road. But we're definitely going to put it in the realm of conversation. We'll have fun with it."
The Chandelier was Angela Renee's her first start outside of New York, where the Bernardini broke her maiden at first asking on June 27 at Belmont Park. She followed up with a nice second in the Adirondack at Saratoga, and stayed at the Spa to be third after a bumpy start in the Spinaway. With this first stakes score, the Kentucky-bred bay more than doubled her career earnings to $300,000 and shows a 4-2-1-1 career line.
Angela Renee is out of the stakes-winning Deputy Minister mare Pilfer and counts as a full brother multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire To Honor and Serve, who just completed his second season at stud. Pilfer is herself a half-sister to Grade 2 scorer India and Grade 3-placed stakes winner Sing Softly, both Hennessy mares.
Angela Renee's second dam, Grade 2-placed stakes vixen Misty Hour, counts as a half-sibling the grandam of Canadian champion Rahy's Attorney, and her fourth dam is Grade 3 victress Java Moon. This black-type rich female family also includes top sire Dynaformer; champions Ryafan and Sunshine Forever; and multiple Grade 1 winner and dual classic-placed Brian's Time, just to name a few.