February 24, 2024

And Tell Me Nolies, Home Cooking meet again in Chandelier; Family Way ships for Rodeo Drive

And Tell Me Nolies and jockey Ramon Vazquez, outside, get up to beat Home Cooking and Mike Smith (inside) in the Del Mar Debutante (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Separated by a head in the Del Mar Debutante (G1), And Tell Me Nolies and Home Cooking will renew their rivalry in Saturday’s $200,000 Chandelier (G1) at Santa Anita. The 1 1/16-mile race will award a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and serves as a qualifier for the 2023 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

And Tell Me Nolies graduated by a neck the second time out in mid-August, and the Peter Miller-trained daughter of Arrogate came back four weeks later to narrowly capture the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 10, rallying determinedly to nail Home Cooking in the final strides. Ramon Vazquez retains the mount.

Home Cooking needed a pair of starts to earn her first win, rolling to a 9 1/4-length decision, and the speedy Honor Code filly showed good speed in the Del Mar Debutante, dueling through hot opening fractions before edging away to a clear lead on the far turn. The Bob Baffert pupil has been bet down to odds-on favoritism in all three starts, and Home Cooking will stretch to two turns with Mike Smith.

Baffert has another contender in flashy debut scorer Huntingcoco, a 6 3/4-length winner at Del Mar on Sept. 3, and Edwin Maldonado has the call on the daughter of Practical Joke.

Ice Dancing is still a maiden from two starts, but she’s worthy of consideration following a third in the Del Mar Debutante (G1). Umberto Rispoli rides the Frosted filly for Richard Mandella. Justique will bring a late punch, rallying from last of 10 to break her maiden going away by 2 1/2 lengths at first asking. Conditioned by John Shirreffs, the $725,000 daughter of freshman sire Justify will keep the services of Victor Espinoza.

One race earlier on the program, seven fillies and mares are set for the $300,000 Rodeo Drive (G1), a 1 1/4-mile turf affair that will award an expenses-paid spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

A close second in the New York (G1) this summer, Family Way has invaded in search of her first Grade 1 triumph. Brendan Walsh trains the five-year-old gray mare, and Family Way is very honest, winning or placing in all six starts this season. Smith takes the reins aboard the early/presser.

Fluffy Socks, a half-length second in the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga on Aug. 27, is a contender for Chad Brown. The Grade 2-winning filly will add the services of Joe Bravo.  

Going to Vegas, second in the Gamely (G1) two back and most recently third in the John C. Mabee (G2), will make a title defense. The five-year-old mare led wire to wire in last year’s edition, and she should be prominent from the start with Umberto Rispoli retaking the mount.

Other runners include Neige Blanche and Queen Ofthe Temple.