October 2014
10/1/2014 - Stopshoppingdebbie Invades Santa Anita for L.A. Woman

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    Stopshoppingdebbie Invades Santa Anita for L.A. Woman

    Rocco Bowen and Stopshoppingdebbie hanging out at Santa Anita


    With nothing left to prove at Emerald Downs, Northwest Farms’ Stopshoppingdebbie takes her perfect record to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

    Saturday, the 4-year-old filly competes in the $100,000 L.A. Woman for older fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt. The Grade 3 event is being used as a possible steppingstone to the Breeders’ Cup, while also answering if Stopshoppingdebbie fits among the nation’s elite fillies and mares.

    Carded as Race 4, the L.A. Woman goes at 2:30 p.m. and will be simulcast at Emerald Downs.

    Stopshoppingdebbie drew the No. 4 post, with regular jockey Rocco Bowen named to ride at 119 lbs.

    “We wanted the No.4 post out, so we’re pretty happy with what we got,” trainer Tom Wenzel said. “I really didn’t want to be on the inside. These riders down here are pretty good at keeping things tight near the rail. We don’t want to get trapped down there.”

    A Kentucky-bred by Curlin-Taste the Passion, Stopshoppingdebbie is 9-for-9 with earnings of $247,728. For the second straight year, she swept a four-race series at Emerald Downs and was unanimously voted Top Older Filly or Mare. Although the L.A. Woman will be a cutback from 1 1/8 miles, Stopshoppingdebbie is 4-for-4 in sprints including two wins at 6 ½ furlongs,

    “From the looks of it, I think we fit in pretty good with this group,” Wenzel said. “She’s doing very well. She’s as ready as she’ll ever be. We’re probably going to sit her off the pace. I really liked the way the she rated and then finished in the sprint earlier this year. With the outside post and some other speed, I think it’s the right place to be.

    “Rocco and I will have some time down here so we can watch how the track is playing and get a good idea on how the speed does.”

    Tribal Gal and Uzziel, both coming off stakes wins at Los Alamitos, appear fastest early on paper, while the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Top Kisser, coming off a 93 Beyer while finishing second in a restricted stakes at Del Mar, is likely to be favored. Maker or Breaker, trained by Bob Baffert, and My Happy Face, a graded winner as a 2-year-old in 2012, complete the field.

    For Bowen, the L.A. Woman marks a doozy of a first ride at Santa Anita. He’ll be riding a graded race aboard an undefeated horse while competing vs. stalwarts Rafael Bejarano, Tyler Baze, Joe Talamo, Martin Garcia and Elvis Trujillo.

    “The track’s a little deeper here than at Emerald,” said Bowen, second with 70 wins at Emerald Downs in 2014. “I’m really excited to ride my first race here. The only other time I was down here was to watch the 2012 Breeders’ Cup.”

    Bowen got a feel for the track Tuesday while working Stopshoppingdebbie four furlongs in :47.60, ninth fastest of 34 works at the distance.

    “At first she was looking around a little bit, but then she was all professional,” Bowen said. “The way she was acting was like she had been down here two years already.”

    According to Andy Harrington, head clocker for Handicapper’s Report, Stopshoppingdebbie made a good impression in her first Santa Anita workout.

    “(Stopshoppingdebbie) looked really healthy and happy, I had her in :47 flat,” Harrington wrote. “She’s stepping up in class but clearly going well.”

    Wenzel said Stopshoppingdebbie, fit from a long season at Emerald Downs, would have light training the rest of the week, either jogging or galloping Thursday and galloping Friday.

    Weather could be a factor with another heat wave embroiling the San Gabriel Valley. Saturday’s expected high is a sweltering 102 degrees.

    “It’s pretty warm down here, but it’s not really a concern,” Wenzel said. “Every horse is going to have to deal with the heat, so it shouldn’t be an advantage for us or anyone else.”

    The field from the rail out for the $100,000 L.A. Woman Stakes for fillies & mares 3-year-olds and up: Top Kisser, Elivis Trujillo, 119 lbs; Uzziel (3yo), Tyler Baze, 117; Maker Or Breaker, Martin Garcia, 119; Stopshoppingdebbie, Rocco Bowen, 119; Tribal Gal, Rafael Bejarano, 119; My Happy Face, Joe Talamo, 119.

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