TRUMAN’S MOONLESS SKY, MILLER’S BAD JU JU & D’AMATO’S LONG HOT SUMMER HEAD FIELD OF NINE IN CALIFORNIA DISTAFF HANDICAP
By Mike Willman —-
TRUMAN’S MOONLESS SKY, MILLER’S BAD JU JU & D’AMATO’S LONG HOT SUMMER HEAD FIELD OF NINE IN $100,000 CALIFORNIA DISTAFF HANDICAP AT 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF SATURDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 11, 2017)—Hard hitting Moonless Sky will shorten up out of seven consecutive turf routes for trainer Eddie Truman as she heads a field of nine California-bred or sired fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course this Saturday.
A 4-year-old daughter of two-time California Cup Classic winner Bold Chieftain, Moonless Sky will have to contend with Peter Miller’s Bad Ju Ju, Phil D’Amato’s Long Hot Summer and others, in what will be her first-ever try down Santa Anita’s unique hillside layout.
MOONLESS SKY: Owned by Pappas Racing, she was winless in four starts in south Florida prior to being purchased privately following a third place finish in an open maiden special weight race on Jan. 1 at Gulfstream Park. Under Truman’s patient tutelage, she’s won three out of six Southern California starts and is perfect in four tries over the Santa Anita lawn—all at two turn distances. Most recently second, beaten a nose in the 1 1/16 miles Solana Beach Stakes Aug. 11, Moonless Sky, who has demonstrated a tremendous turn of foot when routing, will hope for a fast early pace on Saturday. With an overall mark of 10-4-3-2, she has earnings of $209,650 and will be ridden for the seventh consecutive time by Kent Desormeaux.
BAD JU JU: Owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, she was scratched out of Sunday’s Grade III LA Woman Stakes at six furlongs on dirt to run against state-breds down this hill this Saturday. Claimed for $40,000 on Oct. 8, 2016, she’s been idle since running second in a six furlong restricted stakes on Sept. 4. In six starts for her new connections, she has three wins, including a 2 ½ length score four races back in the 6 ½ furlong Kalookan Queen Stakes here on Dec. 30, 2016. Off the board in her lone hillside turf start in May, 2015, this 5-year-old mare by Desert Code is 20-7-2-5 overall with earnings of $342,063.
LONG HOT SUMMER: Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, this consistent 5-year-old Street Boss mare was a minor stakes winner two starts back going five furlongs on turf Aug. 4, but was declared a non-starter in a subsequent five furlong turf classified allowance due to a starting gate mishap which resulted in a fifth place finish on Aug. 31. With two wins and a third place finish over the course, classy Long Hot Summer has to be accorded a huge chance on Saturday. Trained by D’Amato through all 17 of her lifetime starts, she has six wins, two seconds and a third place finish with earnings of $409,539.
THE CALIFORNIA DISTAFF HANDICAP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 6 of 9 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
Bad Ju Ju—Corey Nakatani—122
Late ’n Left—Stewart Elliot—115
Barbara Beatrice—Tiago Pereira—120
Long Hot Summer—Flavien Prat—124
Miss Sunset—Gary Stevens—123
Run for Retts—Evin Roman—118
Starlite Style—Brayan Pena—118
Moonless Sky—Kent Desormeaux—121
Ready to Hula Lula—Tyler Baze—118
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional racing information, please visit santaanita.com.
Santa Anita Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.