Spot Plays for the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf, Las Cienegas
A relatively quiet Saturday ahead of next weekend's Pegasus World Cup (G1) awaits bettors this afternoon, and the two most interesting stakes from a betting perspective might be the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf, Race 10 at Gulfstream Park, and the Las Cienegas (G3), Race 7 at Santa Anita.
Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf (4:30 p.m. EST)
In the hope we might see a respectable pace involving favorites Daddy's Boo and Starship Jubilee, as well as Katinka, an off-the-pace type might benefit.
Though she's wheeling back in a mere nine days, #7 GRACEFUL HEART (12-1) has shown noticeable improvement since joining the Marty Wolfson barn over the summer. She was only a length behind Katinka is a state-bred stakes in her first start for the barn, rallied to beat allowance foes next out, and threw in her only clunker when enduring a troubled trip against N2X company a month ago.
On January 11, she turned in a much improved effort to miss by less than a length going about 7 1/2 furlongs. She gets more ground to work with here, is in peak form and is worth taking a shot with at a potentially double-digit price.
Las Cienegas (6:30 p.m. EST)
It's easy enough to forgive #6 ANITA PARTNER's (6-1) two summertime losses at Del Mar. She's never been effective down there, but possesses a strong 6-3-1-2 record on the Santa Anita turf. She finished first three straight times on the downhill course (disqualified once) earlier this year and was a rallying third in the Monrovia (G2) in May after falling farther off the pace than usual.
Anita Partner is reunited today with Tyler Baze, with whom she's enjoyed much of her success to date. She figures as a major player at a square price.