Nick Alexander’s Enola Gray and jockey Tyler Baze win the $ 100,000 California Distaff Handicap, Saturday, October 15, 2016 at Santa Anita Park
Phil D’Amato is optimistic that Enola Gray can make amends for her second-place finish as the 1-10 favorite in the Betty Grable Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 13 when she runs in the Grade I La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita on opening day Monday.
“There is definitely a ton of speed (in the race) but I love my post position with her,” D’Amato said of Enola Gray, a gray California-bred daughter of Grazen owned and bred by Nick Alexander. “Mike’s just going to break and go on with her.”
“Mike” is Mike Smith, who rides Enola Gray for the first time in her career of seven starts, four of them victories and two of them seconds. Enola Gray drew post position seven in the field of eight three-year-old fillies.
“My filly’s just got a ton of stamina,” D’Amato added. “We’re going to let her roll and see what happens.”
Midnight Storm, a graded stakes winner on dirt and turf, remains on course for the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Jan. 1 and a possible meeting with Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate.
“We’re pointing for the San Pasqual,” D’Amato said. “Arrogate or no Arrogate, we’re running. We’re very excited about this meet. We’ve got a lot of nice horses, from two-year-olds to stakes horses and they all should be ready to go here at Santa Anita.”
The La Brea: Lunar Empress, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 20-1; Lightstream, Julien Leparoux, 2-1; Finley’sluckycharm, Brian Hernandez Jr., 5-2; Constellation, David Flores, 6-1; Coniah, Tyler Baze, 15-1; Chao Chum, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Enola Gray, Mike Smith, 9-2;and Perfect Pic, Santiago Gonzalez, 6-1.
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