She’s A Tiger stakes today at fair

Racing in Pleasanton has had its share of historic moments and the Alameda County Fair pays tribute to one of them with the running of the She’s A Tiger stakes today, June 24.

The race is for fillies and mares at 1-and-1/16 miles and is the eighth on the Pleasanton card, scheduled for a 6:15 p.m. post time.

She’s A Tiger was trained by Pleasanton’s Jeff Bonde, with Pleasanton’s Allen Aldrich as one of her owners. She made her initial start at the Alameda County Fair on June 22, 2013, and it was a winning one.

The buzz about the horse on the backside was so great that she went to the gate as the 1-5 favorite. Breaking out to a four length lead at the first call, she ended up turning the five-furlong race in to a glorified workout, winning by nine lengths.

From there she went to Hollywood Park, announcing to the rest of the country she was the real deal, winning the Landaluce. Next, She’s A Tiger jumped up to a Grade II race – the Sorrento – at Del Mar, finishing ½-length behind winner Concave.

She came back in the Del Mar Debutante, this time winning the race under the guidance of Gary Stevens for the first time, beating Concave, Awesome Baby, and Fascinating in the process.

Four weeks later, she moved up to the Chandelier – a Grade I race – but fell by a head to Secret Compass.

That set up the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. She’s a Tiger was four lengths clear turning for home but got a challenge from a hard-charging Ria Antonio. With 50 yards to go the two were even.

The two bumped, but She’s A Tiger battled and crossed the line first. However, in a controversial decision, She’s a Tiger was disqualified for causing interference and placed second.

A little over a month later, She’s A Tiger brought home the much sought after hardware, being named the Champion 2-year-old Filly at the Eclipse awards, collecting 212 of the 249 votes.

She would see one more race, finishing 7th in the Eight Belles at Churchill Downs in May of 2014. Following the race, she retired.

Eight horses will go to post Saturday in hopes of becoming the first winner of “The She’s A Tiger,” stakes.

The field for The She’s A Tiger by post-position:

The first stakes race of the meet sends eight to post, including the first two finishers from last year.

Smoothlikebuttah (No. 1, 5/2) brings an impressive resume on paper to this one, having her last two starts in Grade II races at Santa Anita. Taking a deeper look at those two shows she beat one horse in each of the two starts and had no impact at any point in the race. She was also over 20/1 in both starts. The record shows three career wins in 40 career starts. In 2022 she hit the board in 12-of-13 starts, finishing third seven times and second four times. There is a lot to like about this one that includes $408,000 in career earnings but take good looks at the others.

Naughty Nadine (No. 2, 5/1) had been a horse that through her career opted to run mid-pack before making a run in the lane. But after a pair of bullet works led to her last start where she came out and went gate to wire for the score. The new dimension makes her one to look at here.

Anthonys Cleopatra (No. 3, 9/2) was eighth in this race year after going off as the favorite. This year she has hit the board a pair times in four starts including a second her last time out. Will hope to sit in the middle before making a late run.

Clockstrikestwelve (No. 4, 8/1) has put together a pair of seconds with both losses coming to others entered here. Prefers to come from off the pace and if there is an honest pace, could be searching for the shocker.

Twilight Empire (No. 5, 15/1) has three wins and a second in seven starts this year. Has run behind a few horses in here so this might be a bit more than he she can handle.

Tam’s Little Angel (No. 6, 6/1) is the defending champion, pulling off the win last year at 8-1. The win came from gate to wire holding off the second place finisher by a nose. The horse has not won a race since. This year she has a third in five starts, with that coming in her last start. Showed a lot of speed in the last start and may be rounding into shape for the title defense.

Ascendancy (No. 7, 4/1) has won two straight and now has three wins in six starts for the year. Will come from off the pace so will need an honest pace. If that happens this may be the one getting all the attention after the race.

Buyback (No. 8, 10/1) was the second-place finisher last year and was flying late. Ended last year with a third in the Emerald Distaff but has come out this year and struggled. Everything points to running better on the dirt than synthetic so we may be finding a sweet spot again. Could be great value to play here if she stays anywhere near the 10/1 morning line.

My Picks: 7-1-6 – Ascendancy gets the trip she needs and comes flying at the end to get the win, holding off the Southern California invader and the defending champ who gets up for third.

By Dennis Miller