In what appears to be a race in which several have a big shot, Glen Hill Farm's Marketing Mix may rate a slight edge in the $250,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes Sept. 28 at Santa Anita Park.
The connections of many of the fillies and mares entered in the 1 ¼-mile turf race would love to return Nov. 2 for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at the same distance on the Santa Anita turf (as a Breeders' Cup Challenge race Saturday's winner will earn free entry and fees) but first things first: A grade I score is on the line in the Rodeo Drive.
Victorious over local rivals Tiz Flirtatious and Lady of Shamrock in the Gamely Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park May 27, Marketing Mix was most recently fourth, beaten 5 ¾ lengths as the even money favorite in the Beverly D Stakes Aug. 17 at Arlington Park in Chicago.
Trained by Tom Proctor, Marketing Mix has been handled in her past three starts by jockey Gary Stevens, who also will be aboard Saturday. Stevens guided the 5-year-old Medaglia d'Oro mare to a handy score in the Sunset Handicap over males July 14 at Hollywood.
Marketing Mix has two wins and two seconds from five starts at the distance and is 19-10-4-1 overall, with earnings of $1,905,893.
Pamela Ziebarth's homebred Tiz Flirtatious, a 5-year-old California-bred mare by Tizbud, would appear to be at the peak of her powers for trainer Marty Jones. A rousing 2 ¼-length winner at odds of 3-5 in the 1 ⅛ mile turf John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar Aug. 11, Tiz Flirtatious will attempt 10 furlongs for the first time in what will be her 12th career start.
Second, beaten a head by Marketing Mix in the Gamely, Tiz Flirtatious will be ridden for the fourth consecutive time on Saturday by Julien Leparoux.
She has never been out of the money, with seven wins, three seconds and one third place finish to her credit. Her earnings now stand at $624,800.
Hronis Racing's Lady of Shamrock, who added blinkers when second by 2 ¼ lengths to Tiz Flirtatious in the Mabee, will take them off on Saturday and in all probability, be taken well off the pace by Garrett Gomez, who rides her for the first time.
Trained by John Sadler, Lady of Shamrock has two wins and a second at the distance, and she is an impressive 4-for-6, with one second-place finish, over the Santa Anita turf. Her overall mark stands at 16-7-4-2, with earnings of $945,400.