Stakes Preview: Landaluce for 6/22/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

June 22nd, 2014

by Andrew Champagne

Named in honor of one of the most spectacular 2-year-old fillies ever, the Landaluce Stakes will be run Sunday at Santa Anita. The race’s namesake won all five of her starts by a combined total of more than 46 lengths, leaving huge shoes to fill for the nine 2-year-old fillies who will go postward to compete for a $125,000 purse.

Seduire looked great in her debut win last month, and all signs point to another strong effort Sunday. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has speed and drew the rail, often a potent combination in Santa Anita’s sprint races, and Corey Nakatani will climb back aboard the daughter of Elusive Quality.

Her eight rivals have talent, and the field includes a familiar face. Enchanting Lady finished a late-running second in Seduire’s debut after a troubled trip from an outside post, and we certainly know Bob Baffert trainees can win races like this one.

However, the more I look at this race, the more I think not enough will change for Enchanting Lady to turn the tables. Once again, Enchanting Lady has drawn an outside post, this time in a bigger field of horses.  While Enchanting Lady has every right to improve, the circumstances are too similar, inside speed is too good at Santa Anita, and she may be overbet based on her connections. Give me Seduire on top.

If you insist on playing a closer, however, you could do worse than My Fiona, whose relative lack of early speed first out proved to be a blessing. Not too many horses can close at the 4 ½-furlong distance, but this daughter of Ghostzapper did just that, rallying from six-plus lengths back and drawing off to win by more than three. That’s a huge move, and while one can argue the race collapsed due to swift early fractions, this one may as well. Several horses will likely gun for the lead early, and that could set the table for My Fiona to get a piece at a pretty nice price.

SELECTIONS: Seduire, Enchanting Lady, My Fiona