Her Emmynency returns in Buena Vista against full field
There are any number in this group who could come out on top, including the top three from the January 18 Megahertz (G3), multiple Grade 2 heroine Prize Exhibit and Her Emmynency, who makes her return in this spot following a head victory in last October’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland.
Her Emmynency is one of the least experienced runners in this field, boasting only seven starts on her resume to date. However, the bay miss has been worse than second just once from those seven races. That came in the San Clemente H. (G2) last July at Del Mar but she quickly rebounded a month later to be a close second in the Del Mar Oaks (G1).
The Kentucky-bred lass was freshened by then trainer Michael Stidham and shipped to Keeneland for the QEII, which she captured by a head, but returned to California immediately after that race. Her Emmynency then took up residence in the barn of Kristin Mulhall, who saddles the Successful Appeal filly in her four-year-old bow on Saturday. Joe Talamo has the call.
Prize Exhibit will be looking to improve off a seventh-place run in the Santa Monica S. (G2) sprinting over the main track at Santa Anita on January 23. That came just 20 days after the James Cassidy pupil opened 2016 with a nose score in the grassy Monrovia S. (G2), and she could easily improve in this return to turf with regular rider Santiago Gonzalez in the irons.
Keri Belle was sent off at 12-1 and provided a nice upset in the Megahertz last out when nosing out Stormy Lucy for the win. Theatre Star was just a neck farther back in third, and those three line back up in the Buena Vista for a showdown.
Keri Belle was trying stakes rivals for only the second time in the Megahertz, with her first attempt resulting in an 11th-place finish in the Athenia S. (G3) at Belmont Park last October. She really outran her odds last out but is also two-for-two going a mile on Santa Anita’s turf and shouldn’t be discounted.
Stormy Lucy, on the other hand, is an established graded runner who found success at the Grade 1 level in the 2015 Matriarch S. The Stormy Atlantic mare closed out her six-year-old season with a close neck second in the nine-furlong Robert J. Frankel S. (G3) on December 27 and will be looking for a return to the winner’s circle in this spot under Kent Desormeaux.
Theatre Star has yet to succeed at the graded level while being close in her last three attempts. The Tom Proctor-trained six-year-old might just break through here with Drayden Van Dyke holding the reins.
Her Emmynency photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography