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Santa Anita: Egg Drop looks appealing in Santa Lucia despite challenges
By Brad Free
ARCADIA, Calif. – Egg Drop is wheeling back too soon, only 17 days.
She is moving up in class too swiftly, from first-level allowance to stakes. And the pace scenario of the $70,000 Santa Lucia Stakes might not favor her up-front style.
What does a bettor do with Egg Drop on Sunday at Santa Anita – throw her out? That might not be a good idea.
Five fillies and mares entered the 1 1/16-mile Santa Lucia, and though trainer Mike Mitchell recognizes the challenges, he is confident his filly is up to the task.
“No. 1, she is good,” Mitchell said. “She feels good and is playing and acting like a racehorse. No. 2, it’s like a two-other-than.”
Mitchell is right, and 17 days after a front-running allowance win, Egg Drop can become a stakes winner in the Santa Lucia, which is restricted to non-winners of a stakes this year at a mile or farther.
It is a soft race with limited appeal positioned early on the card as race 3. In addition to Egg Drop, the field includes the Bob Baffert-trained Candrea and Maker Or Breaker, and Northern California shippers Sister Kate and Sister Glady Oh La.
Egg Drop is owned by Little Red Feather Racing, whose managing partner is Billy Koch. With limited options after her first-level allowance win March 28, Koch and Mitchell had to figure out where and when to run Egg Drop next.
“We could wait for a two-other-than, but that doesn’t have to fill,” Mitchell said. “Billy and I decided to run her here.”
It make sense, even on short rest. After all, Egg Drop’s energy level is high, and she may have room to improve in just the seventh start of her career. She does not face any killers.
“It seems like a fairly even spot,” Mitchell said. “I think she’s ready for this.”
Based on her most recent start, Egg Drop is the one to beat. Stretching out from two sprints, Egg Drop and Garrett Gomez set a strong pace over a track that produced slow times, put away their pace rival into the lane, and won by 1 1/2 lengths.
Egg Drop has won 2 of 6, and though she faces other speed Sunday, she is drawn outside, where Gomez may have options.
Her main rival is Maker Or Breaker, a 3-for-4 Empire Maker filly whose recent second-level allowance win was in a three-horse field Dec. 30. She has a series of sharp works for her comeback and will be forwardly placed. Baffert also starts Candrea, whose best races have been at shorter distances.
Sister Kate won a second-level optional claimer last out at Golden Gate and adds speed. Sister Glady Oh La has won 9 of 19 and will roll late.
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