Finding right Balance

first_imgARCADIA – Balance was named best 3-year-old filly at Santa Anita last winter and on Sunday was the best 4-year-old filly in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes after winning the 1 1/8-mile race by 4 lengths over Bai And Bai. In May of 2006, Balance finished a dismal 11th as the 8-5 favorite in the prestigious Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. After the race, the daughter of Thunder Gulch underwent ankle surgery to have a bone chip removed. “She was in the bridle when she came out of the gate and was dragging me all the way to the first turn,” winning jockey Victor Espinoza said. “She settled down from that point and after that, it was over with.” Hofmans said Balance’s next race will be the Grade I $300,000 Santa Margarita at 11/8 miles on March 10. On a wet-fast main track that was pelted by a half-inch of rain Saturday night, Noble Court, the 4-5 favorite, prevailed by a diminishing neck over the fast-closing Law Breaker to win the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds. Half Famous and Spanish Influence battled for the early lead down the backstretch with Noble Court, ridden by Corey Nakatani, and Law Breaker just behind. At the top of the stretch Noble Court surged to the front, but was fully extended to hold his slim advantage as the timer blinked 1:23.12 for seven furlongs. Balance returned to racing for trainer David Hofmans on Dec. 30 and finished third in the seven-furlong La Brea Stakes. But sprinting never was her forte, and a return to distance racing got Balance back on the beam. She rallied from fifth on the far turn to sweep past her five rivals as the 6-5 betting choice in 1:49.41. center_img “He looked like he struggled with the track a little bit,” winning trainer John Sadler said. “He was fighting it, but we’re happy to come out with a win on a surface he didn’t really love.” The consistent Law Breaker, competing in a sprint for the first time in his brief four-race career, has won two races and lost two others by a neck. The San Vicente lost some of its luster when probable favorite Major Pleasure was an early scratch because of the track condition. Hurry Up Again was a late scratch when he suffered a small cut on his hind leg after becoming fractious in the starting gate. Pussycat Doll, a convincing winner of the Grade I Santa Monica Handicap on Jan. 28 in her comeback, is expected to make her next start in the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel in Maryland on Feb. 17. “That’s our only option right now,” trainer Bob Baffert said. When top sprinter Siren Lure is entered in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs on Feb. 17, he will have a new rider. Jockey Alex Solis, who has ridden Siren Lure in his last eight races, will be replaced by veteran Richard Migliore. Migliore was aboard Siren Lure when he recently worked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 for trainer Art Sherman. Foxysox, winner of the Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in December, failed to compete in Sunday’s La Canada Stakes. The 4-year-old filly, trained by Carla Gaines, is recovering from a foot bruise. McCann’s Mojave, the 33-1 upset winner of the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic, will be nominated to the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (March 3), according to owner Mike Willman. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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