The streaking Adare Manor will square off against her Bob Baffert stablemate Fun to Dream in Saturday’s $400,000 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) at Del Mar. More than barn bragging rights are at stake, as the 1 1/16-mile affair serves as a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
Adare Manor looked like a budding superstar early in her sophomore campaign, only to lose her way for a time. But the Uncle Mo filly is now fulfilling her potential, and riding a three-race winning streak. Since just holding on in a one-mile allowance at Santa Anita March 31, Adare Manor has wired the Santa Maria (G2) and Santa Margarita (G2) in dominant fashion. Juan Hernandez retains the mount on the 4-5 morning-line favorite, who is drawn smack in the middle in post 3.
Fun to Dream was last seen getting collared late in the March 11 Beholder Mile (G1), where her own four-race skein was snapped. The daughter of Arrogate has scored her major wins going seven furlongs in the La Brea (G1) and Santa Monica (G2). Yet she did capture her lone start at this trip decisively, albeit in an entry-level allowance, and her pedigree suggests it’s within her scope at this level. Ramon Vazquez takes over from Hernandez.
Stretch-out sprinter Elm Drive figures to flash speed on the rail. While the Phil D’Amato trainee hasn’t tried a route since trailing in the 2021 Chandelier (G2), she enters in much better form for this attempt. The Mohaymen filly won the off-the-turf Monrovia (G3) and the Mizdirection S. on Santa Anita’s downhill course prior to a half-length third in the Great Lady M (G2).
Elm Drive’s stablemate Desert Dawn boasts an upset of Adare Manor in the 2022 Santa Anita Oaks (G2). Third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and a fine second in last summer’s Hirsch to Blue Stripe, the future Distaff near-misser, Desert Dawn has yet to duplicate those efforts this season. She was most recently a distant third behind Adare Manor and Kirstenbosch in the Santa Margarita. Kirstenbosch, who eked out a win in the Jan. 15 La Canada (G3), has otherwise found graded company more challenging.
The Clement L. Hirsch goes off as the 10th race at 9:41 p.m. ET.