12/31/2012 11:37AM

Trip Notes: Mr. Prospector Stakes, Daytona Stakes, Robert J. Frankel Stakes

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Dec. 29

Gulfstream
Mr. Prospector (race 5)

In last year’s running, Indiano got away slowly and could only rally for 3rd. He made no such mistakes this year as he avenged a recent loss at Tampa to Action Andy. This time he broke well as the 2nd choice, settling in 4th. He bided his time, stayed wide and put in a strong sustained run to wear down the leaders and edge past. Off the Jak stumbled a bit at the start but recovered quickly to run up and contend for the lead with Dreaming of Neno, put his head in front turning for home, battled back when the winner came to him but just couldn’t quite keep pace late. Action Andy, the favorite, stalked in 3rd, loomed a big threat into the lane but seemed to flatten out. Bull Dozer sat last in the small field, made a mild bid turning for home but didn’t sustain it.

Santa Anita
Daytona (race 8)

Steady rains washed this off the hillside turf course onto a sealed main track, and there were numerous scratches, reducing the field of 11 to just 5. Comma to the Top had no trouble at all with the surface switch. The quality runner bounced right out to the lead, rebuffed a challenge from Ain’t No Other on the far turn, kicked clear and kept his foes at bay. This win makes him a millionaire. Clubhouse Ride lagged back while Comma to the Top and Ain’t No Other cleared off early. He came with a steady run but was never really a big danger to the winner. Ain’t No Other dogged Comma to the Top from the start as those 2 opened up on the rest of the field, tried to make a run at Comma to the Top on the turn but couldn’t stay with that foe. He weakened a bit and just lost 2nd in the final strides. Capital Account, the favorite, was last early and never really made a move. This multiple Grade 1-placed runner didn’t seem to enjoy the footing.

Dec. 30

Santa Anita
Robert J. Frankel (race 8)

Euro raider Qaraaba, so impressive winning her U.S. debut at Hollywood Nov. 15, not only validated that run but looked even better with another strong performance here, stamping herself a major player for the turf distaff division out West. On a turf course softened by rain (listed as good), she was slow into stride, just as she was in her U.S. debut. She bided her time at the back while Imperialistic Diva set a modest pace, wasn’t asked to run until approaching the far turn when she swung out for clear sailing and commenced a powerful sustained run that carried her past her rivals and clear for a deceptively easy win. Tiz Flirtatious, favored off a strong 2nd in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Nov. 25, stalked the pace, moved up to challenge for the lead in midstretch but was no match for the winner late. More Chocolate pressed Imperialistic Diva early, got the better of that rival into the lane but couldn’t finish with the top 2. Halo Dolly sat back, made a strong threatening run into the lane but flattened out.