Friday’s $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (G2) serves as a stepping stone to the Del Mar Debutante (G1), but only two of the seven entrants are early nominees to the track’s marquee race for 2-year-old fillies. The two sport different profiles, with Get on the Bus making her career debut in the 6-furlong test at Del Mar, and My Girl Red bringing the best resume as a convincing debut winner.
Get on the Bus, a well-bred daughter of Uncle Mo, was purchased by trainer Doug O’Neill’s sharp-eyed brother Dennis for $340,000 at OBS in March. Her dam, Storybook, is a Halling half-sister to 2014 Dubai World Cup (G1) star African Story who has produced a pair of French stakes-placed juveniles in Romeo Lima and Camp Courage.
Beyond her pedigree appeal, O’Neill has successfully launched a first-time starter in a similar spot before – Know More, victorious when unveiled in the 2012 Best Pal (G2), in the same Reddam Racing colors as Get on the Bus. One significant difference, however, is that Know More was drawn outside, and Get on the Bus has landed on the rail with Mario Gutierrez.
My Girl Red got her freshman sire Texas Red off the mark in style at Santa Anita June 14. A homebred for Eric Brehm, who co-owned Texas Red, and likewise trained by Keith Desormeaux, she showed good speed in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight before kicking clear. The promising juvenile is a half-sister to three stakes performers – reigning Smarty Jones winner Gold Street; Grade 3-placed Oh Marvelous Me; and turf stakes-placed Over Thinking – all out of Morakami, herself a stakes-placed daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus. Flavien Prat reunites with My Girl Red in post 4.
The Peter Miller-trained September Secret was never involved in a state-restricted maiden special weight in her debut at Los Alamitos. But the Grazen filly then crushed a $50,000 maiden claimer on this track, also reserved for Cal-bred or -sired fillies, in a manner suggesting it was the second-time factor more than just class relief. Prat was aboard last time, and Abel Cedillo takes over here, reinforcing the idea that September Secret will be forwardly placed early from post 2.
Exchange Vows rolled in a $50,000 Cal-restricted maiden claimer at first asking, swooping from off the pace at Los Alamitos. The placement by trainer Sal Gonzalez was notable since the Tapiture filly had brought a scant $6,000 at Fasig-Tipton California’s Fall Yearlings Sale. Assael Espinoza picks up the mount.
The remaining three are all shippers for trainer James Chapman. Scaterra lures Umberto Rispoli in light of her seven-length debut score at Arlington. The daughter of Verrazano was cheaper than her stablemates Trip to Seoul ($6,500) and Scat’s Choice ($5,000) when selling for just $3,200 at Keeneland September, but more recently she was a $12,000 RNA at OBS March.
Trip to Seoul, the mount of Edwin Maldonado, had to go to Mountaineer to win after showing little in two tries at Churchill Downs. But she has a useful pedigree, being by Liam’s Map out of a Smart Strike mare from the immediate family of multiple Grade 3-winning millionaire Morticia.
Scat’s Choice also needed an easier circuit, Belterra, to break her maiden third time out. Well-beaten in her first two at Churchill and Indiana Grand, the First Samurai filly is out of Hop the Six, who was a stakes winner as a juvenile. J.C. Diaz has the call.