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WISHING GATE HEADS SOLID 11-HORSE FIELD IN SATURDAY’S $100,000 AUTUMN MISS STAKES FOR 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES AT ONE MILE ON TURF
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 23, 2013)—Wishing Gate, second in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 17, heads a solid field of 11 sophomore fillies in the $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes at one mile on turf this Saturday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by the now inactive Garrett Gomez at Del Mar, Wishing Gate charged up the rail to be beaten three quarters of a length in the mile and one eighth Oaks. She’ll shorten up a furlong and be reunited with Gary Stevens, who guided the Florida-bred daughter of Indian Charlie to an authoritative win two starts back in the Grade II, one mile turf San Clemente Handicap July 21.
Owned by her breeder, Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor, Wishing Gate has three wins and a second at a mile on grass. Based at Betfair Hollywood Park, she has a steady series of drills for her return to Santa Anita on Saturday. In her lone local try, Wishing Gate was second in the one mile turf Surfer Girl Stakes Oct. 8, 2012.
Wishing Gate boasts an overall mark of 9-3-3-0, and has earnings of $245,344.
Proctor will also saddle longshot Include the Aussie, who won a one mile turf allowance Aug. 25 at Del Mar and was most recently an non-threatening eighth in 6 ½ furlong turf Unzip Me Stakes Sept. 28.
Irish-bred Need You Now, who set the pace and tired to finish sixth, beaten five lengths in the Del Mar Oaks, also rates a big chance in the Autumn Miss for trainer Mike Mitchell.
She’ll be reunited with Julien Leparoux, who pressed the pace and guided her to an impressive 2 ¾ length score two starts back in the one mile Le Cle Stakes on July 7 at Hollywood Park.
Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Need You Now is one for two at one mile on grass and will be making her fifth stateside start on Saturday. She has three wins from eight starts overall and has earnings of $76,094.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners will be represented by English-bred Charlie Em, who was victorious in her U.S. debut, the Grade III, one mile turf Senorita Stakes on May 11. Winless in four subsequent outs, she comes off a third-place finish to Eclipse Champion Beholder in the one mile Torrey Pines Stakes on Polytrack Sept. 1.
Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Charlie Em will be ridden for the first time by Corey Nakatani on Saturday. She is two for three at a mile on grass and is 13-4-1-2 overall, with earnings of $99,928.
Although she was never a factor in the Unzip Me Stakes Sept. 28, Heir Kitty has a good measure of back class and would benefit from a fast pace with Rafael Bejarano engaged to ride for the first time.
Trained by Peter Miller, Heir Kitty was second versus males in her second career try, the Grade II Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar, on Aug. 5, 2012. Fourth to Beholder in the Grade I, one mile Las Virgenes Stakes March 2, she’ll be making her third start after a six month freshening on Saturday.
Owned by David Bernsen and Paul Makin, Heir Kitty will be trying a mile on grass for only the second time. She is 11-2-3-1 overall, with earnings of $158,822.
Miller will also send out stakes winning Miss Empire, who comes off a fifth place finish in the restricted, one mile turf Swingtime Stakes at Santa Anita Oct. 5.
She has a win and a second from five tries at a mile on grass and is 12-2-1-3 overall, with earnings of $227,780. Owned by Gary and Cecil Barber and Kevin Tsujihara, Miss Empire will be ridden by Edwin Maldonado, who guided her to a second place finish in the mile turf Sandy Blue Handicap on Aug. 16.
The complete field for Saturday’s Autumn Miss Stakes, to be run as the eighth on a nine-race program, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Heir Kitty, Rafael Bejarano, 117; Caraquista, Agapito Delgadillo, 117; Miss Empire, Edwin Maldonado, 117; Wittgenstein, Mario Gutierrez, 117; Oscar Party, David Flores, 117; Include the Aussie, Fernando Perez, 117; Flashy Ways, Joe Talamo, 117; Charlie Em, Corey Nakatani, 122; Need You Now, Julien Leparoux, 117; Wishing Gate, Gary Stevens, 122, and Journey On, Martin Pedroza, 117. ALSO ELIGIBLE: Ighraa, Victor Espinoza, 117, and Becky Lou, Julien Couton, 117.
First post time on Saturday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. For additional racing information, visit santaanita.com.