09/15/2016 10:40AM

Bitzka looks like good investment ahead of Barretts Debutante


The $62,500 spent to claim Bitzka looked like a bargain when the 2-year-old filly romped by 4 1/4 lengths in her debut at Del Mar on Aug. 25. The investment will look even better if she can win her stakes debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Barretts Debutante at Los Alamitos.

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Bitzka, claimed by Pete and Kosta Hronis and trainer John Sadler, is the only winner among the six runners in the Barretts Debutante, run at 6 1/2 furlongs. The race is restricted to horses who went through the sales ring at a Barretts auction.

The five maidens in the field are an eclectic bunch. They were purchased for prices ranging from $20,000 to $450,000. One of them, Princess Nicole, was bought back for $20,000 at the Barretts March sale of select 2-year-olds in training.

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Bitzka, by Tiago

Beyer: 66

◗ Bitzka, purchased for $47,000 at the Barretts May sale, was 4-1 in a field of five when she beat maidens in her debut. Trained then by Blake Heap, Bitzka closed from third to take the lead in early stretch in a race at 5 1/2 furlongs. Bitzka was claimed in a two-way shake.

“I think we made a good claim,” Sadler said. “You don’t claim before thinking about a sales stakes. When she won pretty impressive, I said, ‘Let’s look at the sale stakes.’ ”

◗ Bitzka had a workout at Del Mar and one at Santa Anita in early September that left Sadler encouraged about the filly’s chances Saturday.

“She’s a kind filly, very smart,” he said. “She doesn’t do much wrong.”

◗ Tyler Baze has the mount on Bitzka, who breaks from the outside post.

Adorable, by Smart Strike

Last 3 Beyers: 29-49-48

◗ Adorable has made four starts and has been tried in all sorts of races. She was second in two sprints, sixth in a one-mile maiden race on turf, and fifth in a maiden race at a mile on the main track at Del Mar.

◗ Trained by Bob Baffert for Kaleem Shah, Adorable was bought for $450,000 at the Barretts March sale of select 2-year-olds. Adorable was the second-most-expensive horse at the sale and the leading filly.

Spooky Woods, by Ghostzapper

◗ Spooky Woods is the lone first-time starter in the field. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for West Point Thoroughbreds, Spooky Woods has worked steadily at Los Alamitos.

◗ The filly was purchased for $250,000 at the Barretts March sale.

Hollendorfer said running Spooky Woods in the stakes is “a calculated move.” He said Spooky Woods has often outworked stablemates.

“She’s been doing very well,” he said. “Most of the sets she’s been in, she’s beaten everyone. We’re optimistic that she can run.”