Friday, September 28, 2012




The 1 1/16 mile Chandelier Stakes (formerly known as the Oak Leaf Stakes) is the first two-turn Graded Stakes contest for California fillies. Despite the presence of the unbeaten Executiveprivilege, the Grade One event attracted ten other fillies. Eight of the contestants will be racing over dirt for the first time.

The heavy favorite EXECUTIVEPRIVILEGE will attempt to keep her record unblemished in the Chandelier. The daughter of First Samurai has previously defeated five of her opponents. The switch to dirt and extra distance shouldn't hinder Executiveprivilege.

After finishing over eight lengths behind Executiveprivilege in her debut, BEHOLDER returned to beat maidens at Del Mar by 3 ¼ lengths. She successfully stretched out to seven furlongs in the Del Mar Debutante and almost upset Executiveprivilege, finishing second to that filly by a nostril. The daughter of Henny Hughes has a sprinter’s pedigree and will attempt to carry her front-running speed wire to wire. Beholder is a half sister to CashCall Futurity hero & new sire Into Mischief.

Executiveprivilege has been triumphing over last out maiden winners in her previous races, but she faces four stakes winners in the Chandelier Stakes. The most impressive of these is BUTTERFLY SOUL (Henny Hughes - Zada Rae, by Unbridled's Song), who is wheeling back in two weeks after a tremendous move the Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at Fairplex. The pretty gray filly spotted the field more than nine lengths in her last start, made a Zenyatta-like move to mow them down by three lengths at the wire. Finishing behind her was stakes placed Awesome Annie. Butterfly Soul is the first foal to earn blacktype in her immediate female family, however, her dam is a half sister to two graded stakes winners. Butterfly Soul's fourth dam is Cequillo, one of the top broodmares in US History. Butterfly Soul is a winner over dirt and the extra distance should help her stretch run.

RENEE'S QUEEN (After Market - Mighty Renee, by Maria's Mon) grabbed the lead and held off all comers to prevail by a tenacious head in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf. The daughter of After Market entered the race as a maiden. The Chandelier Stakes will be Renee's Queen first start over dirt. She's a winner over turf and has placed on Cushion track, so the surface switch shouldn't hinder. Renee's Queen is a half sister to Sorrento Stakes (G-3) heroine Mighty Caroline. The third dam Over All won six graded stakes as a juvenile, including the Spinaway & Matron.

The most well-traveled filly in the field is SALAMERA (Successful Appeal - Autumn Music, by Unbridled's Song). The pretty gray posted a win in the JJ's Dream Stakes at Calder, then chased the well regarded Kauai Katie home in the Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga. She finished 2 ¾ lengths behind that rival and beat the third place finisher by 1 ½ lengths. Salamera is a half sister to a Puerto Rican Champion filly, and the Claiming Crown Glass Slipper heroine Adore You. Another half sister placed in the Glass Slipper.

CONTESSA'S MOMENT (Kafwain - Unbridled Contessa, by Unbridled's Song) also ships in from out of state for the Chandelier Stakes. Like Renee's Queen, Contessa's Moment won her maiden in a stakes race. The gray filly rallied three wide to earn a victory in the Iowa Sorority Stakes. There is little blacktype in this immediate family. The second dam Wende is a stakes winner.

Last out maiden winner SCARLET STRIKE (Smart Strike - Scarlet Tango, by French Deputy) bested Chandelier entrant Majestic Minister by ½ a length upon stretching out to a mile over the Del Mar Polytrack. The well-bred filly is a half sister to King's Bishop Stakes (G-1) hero Visionaire. Their dam is stakes placed and the second dam Silver Tango is a multiple stakes winner.

The maiden MAJESTIC MINISTER (Majestic Warrior - Quick Commander, by Deputy Commander) should improve with the switch to dirt and with added distance. She gained ground at the end of her last race to just miss by ½ a length. Majestic Minister's second and third dams are stakes winners and own the only notable blacktype in this female family.

MISS EMPIRE has either bobbled or been off slow at the start in four of her five races. She's bred to improve with racing and distance. She was unplaced in the Del Mar Debutante and her speed figures have decreased in every start.

After winning her maiden at first asking, SWITCH TO THE LEAD has been trumped by almost ten lenghs by Executiveprivilege in the Sorrento and Del Mar Deubtante.

WITTGENSTEIN has hit the board once in four starts, including a non-competitive effort in the Sorrento. The Irish-bred daughter of Giant's Causeway has the pedigree to excel around two turns on the lawn.


Executiveprivilege is considered to be the best juvenile filly in California. Hard to pick against her. Butterfly Soul was spectacular in her last race. She's taking the same path as Candrea, who won the Phil D. Shepherd Stakes before her runner-up performance in the Oak Leaf. Scarlet Strike is one of the best bred fillies in the race. Beating winners in a Grade 1 race is a tough task, although hitting the board is a possibility. Renee's Queen is a longshot to watch.


#8 Scarlet Strike (8-1)

#5 Beholder (3-1)

#6 Butterfly Soul (20-1) – longshot pick


Ten two year old colts will face off against Know More in the Frontrunner Stakes (G-1), formerly known as the Norfolk Stakes. Unlike the juvenile filly division where Executiveprivlidge has defeated all comers, all of the two year old colt stakes races have been won by a different horse.

The most accomplished juvenile colt in California is KNOW MORE. The son of Lion Heart won the Best Pal in his debut and followed up with a second place finish in the Del Mar Futurity (G-1). The one-run closer is bred to get classic distances and has no excuse in the Frontrunner.

Know More faces ten rivals in the Frontrunner Stakes. Three of them finished behind Know More in the Del Mar Futurity. Two others enter off of stakes victories. The first is DRY SUMMER (Any Given Saturday - Greenstreet, by Street Cry), who won the Oak Leaf Juvenile turf by a neck in his third start. Dry Summer is the first foal produced by his dam, who is a stakes winner over dirt. The Jeff Mullins trainee hails from a quality female family which includes CCA Oaks (G-1) heroine Funny Moon, Champion Older Male Vanlandingham, Belmont Stakes winner Temperence Hill and multiple European Group 1 winners. His fourth and fifth dams are blue hens. Dry Summer has the pedigree to handle dirt and distance.

Finishing just behind Dry Summer after dueling the entire mile was POWER BROKER (Pulpit - Shop Again, by Wild Again). Trained by Bob Baffert, Power Broker, still a maiden, has been on or pressed the pace in two of his three starts and has faltered late after setting quick fractions. He is the first stakes placed runner produced by his stakes winning dam. She is a half sister to the multiple graded stakes winner Miss Shop and Grade 2 winner Trappe Shot. Power Broker's fourth dam Lady Be Good is a blue hen. Power Broker has the pedigree to handle dirt and two turns, however, he'll need to harness his speed to last against top company.

The other stakes winner in the Frontrunner Stakes is the undefeated CARVING (Any Given Saturday - In Seconds, by Giant's Causeway). A stablemate of Power Broker, Carving was up in time to beat his rivals by 3 ¼ lengths in the seven furlong C. B. Afflerbaugh Stakes at Fairplex. There is little blacktype in Carvings female family, although his dam is a half sister to the multiple Group winner Lear Spear. Carving is the only Frontrunner contender with a win over dirt.

The third Baffert-trained entrant, DEN'S LEGACY (Medaglia d'Oro - Sunshine Song, by War Chant), won his maiden in his third attempt at Del Mar. His unraced dam is a half sister to the vailant multiple graded turf mare C.S. Silk and two other stakes winners. The multiple stakes winning sprinter Victorina is member of this female family.

One of the best bred colts in the field is last out maiden winner IMPERATIVE (Bernardini - Call Her, by Caller I. D.). The Eoin Harty trainee circled the field five wide at Gold Gate to win a mile contest by ¾ a length. Imperative is a half brother to the multiple graded stakes veteran Battle Won and to the stakes winners Matched and Nadeshiko.

A couple of runners that disappointed in the Del Mar Futurity may rebound here. GABRIEL CHARLES (by Street Hero) and CAPO BASTONE (by Street Boss) were well regarded in their respective debuts, but failed to hit the board in the Futurity. Both should improve with a switch to dirt and more distance.

Dirty Swag, also by Street Hero, has shown speed figure improvement in each of his last three races. The last out maiden winner is taking on a tough crowd. The Whole Deal and WILD STUDENT have failed to hit the board against maidens.


Know More is the class of the field. Dry Summer has the class to handle these. Carving is the only runner with a victory over the dirt. Imperative is worth a second look.

#7 KNOW MORE (3-1)

#1 CARVING (6-1)

#5 DRY SUMMER (5-1)

#6 IMPERATIVE (20-1) – longshot pick