Adare Manor Headlines California Graded Stakes Action

Bob Baffert’s ADARE MANOR (Uncle Mo) re-enters graded-stakes company with an expected start in the GII Santa Maria S. Saturday at Santa Anita. A runaway winner in her maiden-breaking score in early 2022, she romped by 13 lengths in the GIII Las Virgenes S. in her next start but missed qualifying for the GI Kentucky Oaks. Transferred back to Baffert’s care after near misses in both the GII Santa Anita Oaks and the GII Black-Eyed Susan S., she faltered to sixth in the GI Cotillion before calling it a year last September. After making her 4-year-old debut with a second over seven furlongs at Santa Anita Feb. 18, she returned to the winner’s enclosure with a gate-to-wire win against optional claimers at a mile Mar. 31 with a near career high 92 Beyer Speed figure.

Challenging her from either side is a pair of runners from the John Sadler barn in Kristenbosch (Midnight Lute) and Big Switch (Mr. Big). Kristenbosch picked up a Grade I placing behind Fun to Dream (Arrogate) in the GI La Brea S. Dec. 26 and added her own graded-stakes win in the GIII La Canada S. to open her season Jan. 15.  She was most recently a narrow third, beaten just a length, in the GIII Monrovia Apr. 8. Big Switch owns several stakes wins, albeit against state-bred company, but was beaten just a head by the aforementioned Adare Manor in that same optional claimer Mar. 31 and has been off the board only twice in her eight-race career.


After a commanding gate-to-wire maiden-breaking score Dec. 30, Ancient Peace (War Front) caught a rained-off contest when last spotted Apr. 8 but was well-adapted, responding with a six-length win on the Santa Anita main track. Back on the grass for her states debut, the John Sadler trainee will take on a pair of runners on either side starting with Doug O’Neill’s stakes winner Broadway Girls (Army Mule). She’s been in exclusively stakes company since breaking her maiden at Del Mar last November and picked up a win in the Blue Northern S. Dec. 30 before fading to sixth behind the undefated Faiza (Girvin) in the GIII Las Virgenes. On the outside, Paris Secret (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) won on debut in Ireland last October and was fourth in her American unveiling at Santa Anita Mar. 18 for trainer Phil D’Amato.


Not to be left out of the California graded-stakes action, Golden Gate plays host to the GIII San Francisco Mile S. with Balnikhov (Ire) (Adaay {Ire}) looking to get back in the winner’s circle after just missing by a nose in the GII Santa Anita Mathis Mile S. Dec. 26. The 4-year-old gelding, after spending his juvenile season in France, has picked up a pair of wins since coming state-side including the GIII Bryan Station S. at Keeneland last October.

Breaking from the far outside with plenty of speed, Dicey Mo Chara (GB) (Adaay {Ire}) nearly went gate-to-wire before just getting headed late in the GII Charlie Whittingham S. to begin his season Apr. 8. Now a 5-year-old for trainer Leonard Powell, the gelding has kept exclusively graded-stakes company dating back to a narrow third when beaten just a half-length in Golden Gate’s All American S. last May. Two starts back he added graded-stakes winner to his resume with a score in the GII San Gabriel S. Dec. 26.

Also a potential speed factor to contend with, Bob and Jackie (Twirling Candy) had to settle for third after leading much of the way in the GIII American S. over the mile distance at Santa Anita Apr. 2.

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