Fighting Mad, Hard Not to Love Round Four
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
A year ago, Hard Not to Love was the older filly to beat at Santa Anita Park. She won the Grade 1 La Brea and the Grade 2 Santa Monica in style, then ran second as the favorite in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile. But she hasn’t won since then, largely due to Fighting Mad.
Fighting Mad always showed class, winning her first two starts, but she really got going in 2020 with wins in the Grade 2 Santa Maria and Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch, both over Hard Not to Love. Then Hard Not to Love finished ahead of her in the Grade 2 Zenyatta, but they were both behind Harvest Moon on that day.
The two meet once again in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (G3) on Saturday at Santa Anita. The 1 1/16-mile contest drew seven.
Proud Emma drew the rail. The five-year-old daughter of Include is coming off a win in the Grade 3 Bayakoa at Los Alamitos last out. She was also a stakes winner at Del Mar in August, dead heating with fellow entrant Message. Peter Miller trains Proud Emma, who will have Juan Hernandez up.
Now five, Hard Not to Love is trained by John Shirreffs. She has a record of five wins and three seconds in nine starts on this course, but she has yet to win at this distance. The quirky daughter of Hard Spun is a half-sister to standout running Wonder Gadot.
Fighting Mad is the first of the two Bob Baffert runners. The daughter of New Year’s Day – who also sired Maximum Security – is two for three at the distance. Abel Cedillo will be up on the Gary and Wary West runner.
Stablemate Message drew alongside. The daughter of Warrior’s Reward has run here four times, with a first, second, and third to her credit. Flavien Prat was aboard when she dead heated for the win in the Tranquility Lake, and again when she missed by a half-length in the Bayakoa. He is tabbed to ride again.
Michael McCarthy will start Sanenus (Chi). The daughter of Scat Daddy still seeks her first win in the United States, but she as a Grade 1 type filly in her native Chile. She has run here three times since her arrival last summer, being Grade 3 placed last out.
Miss Stormy D and graded stakes placed stakes winner Never Be Enough complete the field. TVG.com is the best place to bet Santa Anita racing online, and find expert picks for Santa Anita.
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