Race Preview: Autumn Miss Stakes - Santa Anita, October 26, 2013

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Matt Carter

October 26th, 2013

The feature race on Saturday at Santa Anita is the 2nd running of the Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes for three-year-old fillies going one mile on the turf course. The race drew a field of 11 led by morning line favorite, Wishing Gate.

Wishing Gate has not run since a good second place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August when she finished behind Discreet Marq, a multiple stakes winner on the east and west coast. Two starts back Wishing Gate won the Grade 2 San Clemente and is one of two graded stakes winners in the field.

The other graded stakes winner is Charlie Em, who won her stakes race back in May in the Grade 3 Senorita at Hollywood Park. Since then; however, Charlie Em has only managed on third place finish in her subsequent four starts. The British-bred filly looks to have been working well and picks up Corey Nakatani in the irons, who has been riding very well on the turf as of late. If she is to have a shot, C-Nak will need to be aware of the pace scenario and have her in a good spot turning for home.

The pace of the race is likely to come from long shots Caraquista and Miss Empire as well as Journey On and not too far behind will be Need You Now. This race sets up very well for the closers.

Heir Kitty has been closing in sprint races, but back in January she was able to rate well off the pace and storm home late. She was most likely best that day and will save all the ground from post one. Include the Aussie exits an eighth place finish in the Unzip Me Stakes down the hillside turf course, but two back rallied from eight back. She makes her graded stakes debut, but could be the filly to upset the apple cart.

Another to watch is Flashy Ways, who won her first two career starts last year, but is winless in four starts since. The blinkers go on for her first start since April and she drew well in post seven.

If Wishing Gate doesn't fire, this race is wide open. Post time for the feature on Saturday is 7:45 pm ET.