According to trainer Richard Baltas, it's his race to lose. And while his Insta Erma may go favored in Monday's Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile over the Santa Anita turf, she'll need to have her running shoes on to handle the likes of Laseen, Chocolate Coated, Madame Stripes and others as she faces a total of seven rivals in what appears to be a wide-open race.
Owner: Little Red Feather Racing, Medallion Racing, Premier Racing Club, et al Trainer: Richard Baltas
A fast finishing third, beaten 1 ½ lengths in the Grade I Matriarch at one mile over the Del Mar turf Nov. 26, this 5-year-old mare by Pioneerof the Nile was a game nose winner of the one mile turf Swingtime Stakes here two starts back on Oct. 7 and will be making her fourth start for Baltas on Monday. She possesses the best last-out Beyer Speed figure (98) and with two out her four wins coming at one mile on turf, she should looms the horse to beat in the Megahertz.
Owner: D P Racing Trainer: James Cassidy
A troubled third, beaten three quarters of a length in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes going a mile and one eighth on turf Dec. 30, Irish-bred Laseen will hope to get clear sailing on Monday as she shortens up a furlong with Victor Espinoza back aboard. Full of run at the rail a half mile from home, she didn't get the room needed until deep stretch. Winless from 10 starts last year, she logged a pair of seconds and four third place finishes at primarily longer distances. A fast pace would be to her benefit.
Owner: Barry & Judith Becker Trainer: Neil French
A lightly raced 4-year-old filly by Candy Ride, she comes off a solid second place finish in the Grade III Autumn Miss Stakes at a mile on turf Oct. 29 and appears on the improve for veteran conditioner French, evidenced by the fact she'll be ridden for the first time by “Big Money” Mike Smith as her regular pilot, Gary Stevens, has shifted his wintertime tack to Oaklawn Park. Bred in Kentucky by her owners, Chocolate Coated is 6-2-2-1 and will be trying graded stakes completion for the second time in her career. Mid-pack early in the Autumn Miss, it would appear race shape will likely determine the trip she gets in the Megahertz.
Owner: Gainesway Stable Trainer: Neil Drysdale
Second, beaten a nose by the top selection three starts back in the restricted Swingtime Stakes, this 6-year-old Argentine mare was third, beaten 5 ¾ lengths at odds of 9-1 in the Grade II Bayakoa Stakes on dirt Dec. 3. With a return to her preferred surface, she'll be reunited with Kent Desormeaux, who last rode her five starts back, a half length win in the restricted Osunitas Stakes at one mile on turf July 21. Like several in the Megahertz lineup, she's been a solid money earner, but has not been much on winning, evidenced by her overall mark of 16-3-7-2.
THE GRADE III MEGAHERTZ STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
- Do the Dance—Evin Roman—120
- Laseen—Victor Espinoza—120
- Madame Stripes—Kent Desormeaux—122
- Insta Erma—Corey Nakatani—122
- Thundering Sky—Flavien Prat—122
- Bombilate—Stewart Elliott—120
- Lady Valeur—Rafael Bejarano—122
- Chocolate Coated—Mike Smith—122
First post time for a nine-race card on Monday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2018 Paulick Report.