Princess Noor Champions Chandelier
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes
ARCADIA, CA - Zedan Racing Stables' Princess Noor passed her two-turn test with ease, romping home to champion Saturday's $200,000 Chandelier Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.
The Chandelier is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Princess Noor receiving an automatic berth in the Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland this November.
Princess Noor was the 1/5 heavy favorite as she broke from the rail under Victor Espinoza and had to settle into a stalking position while one of her Bob Baffert stablemates, Illumination, went to the lead.
With Miss Costa Rica tracking from her right hip, Illumination carved out early fractions of :23.51 and :48.28 while Princess Noor continued racing under a tight hold along the rail.
Halfway down the backstretch, Espinoza tipped her out three-wide to go after the leaders, and she quickly ranged up to challenge for the lead heading into the far turn before inhaling her stablemate at the 1/4 pole.
Straightening for home with a growing advantage, Princess Noor drew off without being asked for her best, crossing the wire 8 1/4 lengths clear while completing the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route in 1:45.59.
"She reminds me of other great horses I used to ride, like American Pharoah and California Chrome,” Espinoza said. “The talent is there, we just have to let them be happy around the racetrack. I’ve been riding amazing horses, but as a filly, she’s the best one I’ve ever ridden."
Varda, the field's third Baffert representative, took second by 9 1/4 lengths over Miss Costa Rica, who appeared to drop anchor in the far turn but re-rallied in the stretch to nip a fading Illumination for third by a neck.
New York invader Make Mischief completed the order of finish.
Princess Noor's win kept her perfect record intact through 3 starts, having broken her maiden at Del Mar on August 22 before quickly wheeling back to tackle the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1) on September 6. Purchased for $1.35 million this past April, Princess Noor - a daughter of the 2016 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Not This Time - has now earned $303,000.
"I saw Victor get behind and I saw that nice move before the 3/8 (pole), and you can only do that when you have a Ferrari under you," Baffert said, referencing Espinoza's move to get off the rail and into the clear nearing the far turn. "This filly is just incredible and very talented. I don’t train her as hard and I run her into shape. You never know if they can go two turns until they do it, and it looks like that’s not going to be a problem."
Princess Noor returned $2.40 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. Varda brought back $3 to place and $2.40 to show, while Miss Costa Rica paid $3.20 to show.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.
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