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JUDY THE BEAUTY & HEIR KITTY HEAD SUNDAY’S GRADE III LAS FLORES; EASTERN SHIPPER MUNNINGS SISTER SEEKS FIRST GRADED WIN AS OLDER FILLIES & MARES GO SIX FURLONGS IN 62ND RUNNING
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 6, 2014)—Florida-based Judy the Beauty, second, beaten a half length by multiple Eclipse Award Champion Groupie Doll in her most recent start, the Grade I, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, heads a field of five older fillies and mares in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at seven furlongs.
Owned and trained by Wesley Ward, Judy the Beauty battled back gamely in deep stretch to just miss in the Breeders’ Cup at odds of 9-1. A 5-year-old Ontario-Canadian-bred mare by Ghostzapper, Judy the Beauty has five solid works on her tab at Gulfstream Park, her most recent a five furlong move in 58.93 on March 2, fourth-best of 43 at the distance.
Employing a stalking style, she earned a career-best Beyer Speed figure of 106 on Nov. 2. A gem of consistency, Judy the Beauty has five wins, seven seconds and one third place finish from 13 starts with earnings of $765,757. She’ll be reunited with John Velazquez, who guided her to victory two starts back in a Grade II, six furlong sprint at Keeneland Oct. 5.
Trainer Peter Miller’s Heir Kitty, a winner of the Grade I, seven furlong La Brea Stakes Dec. 26, she was attentive to the pace in the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Monica last time out Jan. 25, but ran a disappointing fourth at 5-2.
Currently based with Miller at San Luis Rey Downs, Heir Kitty has had three works since the Santa Monica, her most recent a five furlong work in 1:02 flat on March 4. Owned by David Bernsen and Paul Makin, the 4-year-old filly by Wildcat Heir has two wins and a second from three tries at six furlongs and she’s 15-4-3-1 overall with earnings of $382,272.
Kentucky Derby winning trainer Barclay Tagg will be on-hand to saddle Munnings Sister, a multiple stakes winning 5-year-old mare by Speightstown who comes off a minor stakes win going 5 ½ furlongs in gate to wire fashion in 1:03 flat at Gulfstream Park Feb. 6.
Breaking from the rail, Munnings Sister blasted through fractions of 21.40, 43.80 and 56.20. She drew outside in the Las Flores and should be winging under Luis Saez, who has ridden her in her last two starts. Owned by Charles Fipke, she has four wins and three third place finishes from eight starts at six furlongs and is 16-7-0-3 with earnings of $303,250 overall.
Warm Breeze, trained by Grant Forster, has shipped in from New Orleans and is looking for her third consecutive win. A 4-year-old filly by Street Sense, Warm Breeze opened up from the rail and won the six furlong Happy Ticket Stakes Feb. 1 at Fair Grounds, earning a career best 97 Beyer Speed figure.
Owned by Ten Broeck Farm, Inc., she has three wins and a second from nine starts and has earnings of $94,396. Leandro Goncalves, who has been aboard for her last two wins, will ride back on Sunday.
A stakes winner sprinting on turf, trainer Pete Eurton’s Kinz Funky Monkey will try natural dirt for the first time in the Las Flores. A 4-year-old Florida-bred filly by The Green Monkey, she weakened late to finish fifth, beaten three lengths in a 6 ½ furlong turf allowance Jan. 31. Owned by Always Believe, Inc., she drew the rail and is 9-2-2-2 with earnings of $133,892.
The complete field for the Las Flores, to be run as the seventh race on a nine-race card Sunday with jockeys and weights in post position order: Kinz Funky Monkey, Joe Talamo, 118; Warm Breeze, Leandro Goncalves, 118; Judy the Beauty, John Velazquez, 123; Heir Kitty, Gary Stevens, 123, and Munnings Sister, Luis Saez, 118.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.