10/31/2014 10:18AM

Filimbi will look to save ground in Goldikova Stakes

Tom Keyser
Filimbi will start in Sunday's $200,000 Goldikova Stakes on Sunday at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Filimbi has settled into a pattern in her first year of racing in the United States – she is often favored in turf miles.

A 4-year-old filly, Filimbi was third as the beaten favorite in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes over a mile on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 4, missing by 1 1/2 lengths when racing in traffic late. Avoiding a similar scenario will be vital for Filimbi on Sunday, when she makes her California debut in the $200,000 Goldikova Stakes over a mile on turf.

Trained by Bill Mott for Juddmonte Farms, Filimbi is expected to go favored in the Grade 2 Goldikova Stakes.

The nine fillies and mares in the Goldikova include four based in California, four based in other parts of the country, and one from England, Wall of Sound.

The Goldikova Stakes is the featured race on the final day of the Santa Anita autumn meeting. Del Mar begins its autumn meeting Friday.

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Filimbi (Last 3 Beyers: 99-81-101)

◗ Filimbi has won 5 of 12 starts and earned $266,263. She was a three-time winner in France, including a minor stakes over about a mile on turf at Chantilly last November. Her best result in this country was a win in the De La Rose Stakes over a mile on turf at Saratoga on Aug. 2.

◗ She was last of six in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes over a mile on good turf at Saratoga on Aug. 23, a surface that she may not have preferred, Mott said.

◗ Filimbi has drawn the rail, which is not a major concern for the trainer.

“She’s got a good turn of foot,” Mott said. “You have to save ground early, tip out, and find space.”

Wall of Sound (Last Beyer: 97)

◗ Wall of Sound has won three minor races in England and was fourth in her North American debut in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine on Oct. 19. Trained by Tom Dascombe, Wall of Sound led in the E.P. Taylor but is likely to get a stalking trip in this field behind four-time stakes winner Pontchatrain.

Pontchatrain (Last 3 Beyers: 80-98-97)

◗ A 4-year-old filly, she won three sprint stakes on the hillside turf course and the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes over a mile before being sidelined by injury in February. In her comeback, she was fifth in an optional claimer on the hillside turf course Oct. 3 after setting a fast pace.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT:No. 8 Pontchatrain. Trainer Tom Proctor is 12-4-1-1 with a $2.28 ROI over the past year going from sprint to route on turf in the second start following a layoff. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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Strathnaver (Last 3 Beyers: 92-95-92)

◗ Winless in 13 months, Strathnaver has had two close calls this year, finishing second by a nose in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park on June 7 and second by a neck in the Ballston Spa.

I’m Already Sexy (Last 3 Beyers: 95-90-86)

◗ I’m Already Sexy has had a fine year racing on turf in the Midwest, with wins in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park in July and the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf on Sept. 13. Trained by Wayne Catalano, she will be a danger from off the pace.