When it comes to female turf stakes horses, trainer Chad Brown seems to have one for every distance.
A Raving Beauty is a Grade 1 winner at a mile. Sistercharlie and Fourstar Crook are graded winners at distances from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/4 miles.
At 1 1/2 miles, Brown’s best prospect may be Santa Monica, who will seek her third U.S. victory in four tries in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Waya Stakes at Saratoga.
Santa Monica went 2 for 22 in Great Britain. In three starts in the U.S., all on Lasix, Santa Monica is 2 for 3 with a troubled third in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay at Belmont.
Santa Monica is coming off a half-length victory in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine, where she ran down stablemate Inflexibility at 1 1/4 miles.
“A mile and a quarter is as short as she wants to go, but she did get up in time,” Brown said. “These longer distances are what she prefers.”
Brown felt Santa Monica was compromised by an inside, traffic-laden trip in the Sheepshead Bay.
In the Waya, Brown will also send out Homeland Security, who won the River Memories Stakes at 1 1/2 miles at Belmont on July 8. This is her first try in a graded race.
“She’s going to have to step up in this race,” Brown said. “She seems like an improving horse. I can see her being competitive in there.”
Mom’s On Strike, trained by Joe Sharp, won the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes going 1 1/2 miles at Keeneland before finishing fourth, beaten just two lengths by Fourstar Crook, in the Grade 2 New York at Belmont on June 8. The New York was at 1 1/4 miles.
“With the graded stakes kind of horses, for us to be competitive we definitely need the extra distance,” Sharp said.
Completing the field are Lottie, second in the Sheepshead Bay; Tricky Escape, winner of the Grade 3 Robert Dick Memorial at Delaware last out; Violet Blue, Summersault; and Queen of Connaught.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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