06/26/2014 1:44PM

Royal Heroine Stakes has wide-open feel

Shigeki Kikkawa
Moone's My Name, beaten in the Wilshire Stakes her last out, will have something to prove when she starts Saturday in the Royal Heroine Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Dancingtothestars, Habibi, Moone’s My Name, Parranda, Redressthebalance, Stormy Lucy, and Wishing Gate are all stakes winners since the start of 2013. They all have something to prove in Saturday’s $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes over a mile on turf for fillies and mares at Santa Anita.

Moone’s My Name, Parranda, and Stormy Lucy were beaten in graded stakes in their last starts. Wishing Gate has not raced since January. Dancingtothestars has never won a graded stakes. Redressthebalance has run in claiming races this year. Habibi has not raced in this country but was a Group 1 winner in New Zealand last year.

Those runners are joined by last-race winners Dutchessa, Kathleen Rose, and Moulin de Mougin in a wide-open running of the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes.

::DRF Live: Get real-time updates and insights from DRF reporters and handicappers starting at 12:45 p.m. ET on Saturday

The distance suits Moone’s My Name and Parranda.

Moone’s My Name won the American Beauty Stakes over a mile on turf March 29 but was beaten 1 1/2 lengths when second to Parranda in the Grade 3 Wilshire Stakes on April 27.

“She was a good second behind Parranda,” trainer John Sadler said Thursday. “She’s been doing very well, and she fits with this division.”

Parranda was third to Miss Serendipity and Emollient in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf May 26 as the 2-1 favorite. She can win her sixth stakes in the last year in the Royal Heroine.

The distance might be a test for Stormy Lucy, who won the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes over 1 1/8 miles in March and the Grade 3 Santa Barbara Handicap over 1 1/4 miles in April before finishing fourth in the Gamely. Trainer Ed Moger Jr. was hoping for more speed in the Royal Heroine but said Stormy Lucy can be a danger while racing closer to the leaders.

“She doesn’t have to be that far back,” he said. “She’s got a shot in there.”

Wishing Gate won the Autumn Miss Stakes for 3-year-old fillies last fall but was sixth in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes last December and fifth in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf in January. Wishing Gate was given a rest following that race, trainer Tom Proctor said.

“Maybe she was over the top,” Proctor said. “We sent her to the farm. We’ll see if she is the kind of filly that can improve from 3 to 4.”

[Gold Cup at Santa Anita: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

Big field for Senorita

The Royal Heroine is one of two stakes for female turf milers Saturday. The Grade 3 Senorita Stakes drew the largest stakes field on Saturday’s program, with 11 3-year-old fillies.

Clenor and Sushi Empire, second and third in the Ultrafleet Stakes on the hillside turf course May 2, face Rovenna, who won two dirt stakes for California-breds this year – the Evening Jewel Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs in March and the Melair Stakes over 1 1/16 miles in April.

The Senorita will be the first start for Rovenna in a graded stakes and her first start on turf since a third in the California Cup Oaks in January.

“We’re looking for a graded stakes for her r é sum é ,” trainer Mike Machowsky said. “She’s so versatile. She can run short or long. I think it’s a good opportunity.”

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