While Stop Smiling (f, 2, It’s No Joke)--a half-sister to MGISW Weemissfrankie (Sunriver)--stamped herself as one to watch with an impressive debut victory (video) for Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer on the Hollywood Gold Cup undercard (good for a 73 Beyer), several also-rans in that five-furlong contest should be kept on the radar screen as well.
Considering the deep field that day, it was quite surprising to see the runner-up, a first-time starter from the low-profile Art Sherman barn, take as much money as she did to go off as the 7-2 second choice. They knew, apparently, and Abide in Me (Tiz Wonderful), a $50k OBSAPR purchase, ran to the money and lived up to her morning works with a strong effort to finish 1 1/2 lengths adrift the victress after receiving a perfect stalking trip.
The third-place finisher, L T Reckless (Henny Hughes), also put on a pretty good showing. Sent off at 10-1, the $50k KEESEP yearling broke like a shot from post eight, zipped through fractions of :22.24 and :45.61, and just got a little bit leg weary late to get tagged for second by a neck. She is trained by Doug O’Neill.
Secret Compass (Discreet Cat), a $425k OBSMAR graduate, was favored at 9-5 from the mighty Bob Baffert barn after firing a four-furlong bullet in :47 1/5 at Santa Anita June 30. Outsprinted early, the Westrock Stables colorbearer had plenty to do as they entered the far turn, and really started to figure it out in deep stretch to finish a very promising fourth, beaten only 2 1/4 lengths.
Savings Account (Medaglia d’Oro), trained by Tom Proctor, also ran like a horse that should move forward with a race under her belt. The $310k KEESEP acquisition broke inward into a rival at the start, and was also checked slightly shortly thereafter. She saved ground throughout near the back of the pack, and showed mild late interest to report home a respectable fifth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. Savings Account is the second foal from the stakes-winning and graded stakes placed Unbridled’s Song mare Wild Hoots.
Trainer Peter Miller is always dangerous with his youngsters, and he extended to $280k to land Spy Girl (Discreet Cat) on behalf of Richard Pell at this year’s OBSAPR sale. The bay took good money at 7-2--worked a bullet five furlongs in :59 2/5 at BHP June 28--and pressed the early leader from second for most of the way before tiring in the stretch to finish sixth. Expecting a much better effort from that speedy filly as well next time.
With the prestigious Del Mar meeting right around the corner, it should be fun to see how this group stacks up as the waters get deeper.