Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will send out the duo of Ganadora and Velvet Slippers in the $75,000-guaranteed Dark Mirage Stakes Sunday at Los Alamitos.
The one-mile race for fillies and mares – 3-year-olds & up – is the last of nine races. Post time Sunday is 12:30 p.m. and scheduled post time for the Dark Mirage is 4:28 p.m.
Owned by Baoma Corporation, Ganadora, a 3-year-old Quality Road filly out of the Ghostzapper mare Beloveda, has won two of three and earned $89,600. She suffered her lone loss in her most recent start when she was a distant fourth behind stablemate Under the Stars in the Grade II Summertime Oaks June 12.
A 4-year-old daughter of Quality Road and the Hard Spun mare The Tea Cups has won twice in eight starts for owners Sarah Kelly and Jane Wiltz. Velvet Slippers has been second in both of her outings at Los Alamitos, including when defeated by a head by Samurai Charm in last year’s Dark Mirage. The Kentucky bred has earned $126,950.
Founder’s Day returns to the scene of her last win for owners David Bernsen LLC, Jeffrey Lambert and Richard Hale, Jr. and trainer Bob Hess, Jr. The 4-year-old Constitution filly won as the 17-10 choice against seven opponents in a starter allowance contest at the Dark Mirage distance July 4.
Out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Tiamaria, Founder’s Day is 2-for-17 with earnings of $158,850.
Empire House will try two turns again after finishing fourth of five in the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Aug. 28.
Owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by Jonathan Wong, the Empire Maker filly out of the Mineshaft mare Mama Yay is 1-for-1 at Los Alamitos. The 4-year-old, who has banked $150,720 with four wins in 21 starts, broke her maiden in her second career race during the 2020 Winter meet.
Worse than third only once in six local appearances while winning twice, Trouville will be seeking her first victory in her seventh start of 2022 Sunday.
The 5-year-old daughter of Will Take Charge and the Bernardini mare Night Drive is 3-for-27 lifetime with earnings of $165,087 for owners Mark Banuelos and Mathilde Powell and trainer Leonard Powell.
Cover Version, who finished directly in front of Empire House in the Rancho Bernardo, will aim for her second local win. Owned by 5th Street Stables and Michael Rosenmayer and trained by Reed Saldana, the 7-year-old daughter of Medaglia d‘Oro and the A.P. Indy mare Vaguely Familiar has won five of 40 while banking $223,238.
Her win at Los Alamitos came in a starter allowance contest at eight furlongs July 4, 2021.
Trained by Bill Spawr for a partnership that includes Tom Acker, Sean O’Doherty, Thomas Sanford and Thomas Wafer, Jr., Midnight Jamboree will make her Los Alamitos debut.
The 6-year-old Midnight Lute mare is 3-for-14 with earnings of $87,180. Each of the wins for Midnight Jamboree, who is out of the Unusual Heat mare Jax El, have come at the Dark Mirage distance.
From inside out, the field for the Dark Mirage Stakes: Empire House, Drayden Van Dyke rides, 121 pounds; Midnight Jamboree, Kyle Frey, 121; Trouville, Abel Cedillo, 124; Ganadora, Juan Hernandez, 118; Velvet Slippers, Ramon Vazquez, 124; Cover Version, Ryan Curatolo, 124 and Founder’s Day, Edwin Maldonado, 121.