June 8, 2023

Juvenile fillies impress at Santa Anita

Rockingham Ranch's Surrender Now and jockey Norberto Arroyo, Jr. win the Landaluce Stakes (G3), July 2, 2017 at Santa Anita © BENOIT PHOTO

by John Mucciolo

A pair of two-year-old fillies shined on the West Coast Sunday and the duo looks likely to be set on a collision course in the juvenile stakes races this summer, and beyond.

SURRENDER NOW was making a stakes debut in the Landaluce following a nice first-out tally and did not disappoint. Forcing the pace while outside from the break, the daughter of Morning Line took command while in hand in early stretch and poured it on late in securing a commanding eight-length score.

The Peter Miller trainee was never in duress and while I am not sure if this field was all that great, Surrender Now was still especially sharp and her 95 BRIS Speed figure validates the performance. And connections think a lot of her, too.

Pilot Norberto Arroyo was quoted as saying, “I haven’t even let her run yet. Not in the mornings and not in the afternoons. We don’t know what she can do.”

And if that was not enough, Miller said, “This is the best 2-year-old filly I’ve been around in 15 years.”

Heady praise, indeed.

Racing earlier on the card was a first-time starter named DIAMONDANDPEARLS for mighty conditioner Bob Baffert, who simply can’t miss of late. The $1.7 million daughter of Congrats took the lead soon after the break and widened her lead at every call in a most facile win. She had plenty left in the tank under the wire.

Diamondandpearls was no surprise at 1-2 and ran to her odds, rolling along with ease under the guidance of Mike Smith. Both conditioner and jockey stated how easily she simply does everything up to this point.

Diamondsandpearls registered a 93 BRIS Speed number for her work and has a very high ceiling in my opinion. She is in good hands as well.

The $200,000 Sorrento S. (G2) on August at Del Mar is the next likely stopping point for each of these fillies, who just might have scared away a lot of their divisional foes with their respective showings on Sunday.

I have a strong hunch we are looking at two stars in the making who, if they stay healthy, will make it all the way to the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar.