The Kachina is for fillies and mares, 3-year-old and up and the Hank Mills is open to 3-year-olds and up. Both races will be run at one mile on the main track.
In addition to seven horses in each race, each stakes has three horses entered by the two leading stakes trainers: Robertino Diodoro and Dan McFarlane. Diodoro has a trio of fillies in the Kachina and McFarlane matches with three in the Hank Mills. Though small in number, both races come up highly competitive.
Diodoro’s trio has finished first, second or third in their last efforts, starting with recent race winner She’s Stella Marie, then Ricspretentiousgal and Rock and Glory (second and third respectively in the Queen of the Green Stakes). The winner of that stakes, the quickly improving Lady Rosberg (winner of 4 of 9, and a perfect 2-for-2 locally)), returns in the Kachina for trainer Valorie Lund.
McFarlane’s lone Kachina entry is Maker or Breaker, winner of the Phoenix and Princess of Palms stakes, who broke slowly in the Queen of the Green and was out of the hunt from the start.
Completing the field is Gia Is a Bella, who is stepping up to stakes competition off a non-winners of three win and the 7-race winner Cell Line Forever.
The Hank Mill Sr.
Switching roles, McFarlane sends forth the trio of Navarre (GB), Az Ridge and Red Zeus, while Diodoro’s lone entry is Storm Power.
` Navarre seems better suited to grass although he won a one mile dirt test by daylight at Los Alamitos in September.
Az Ridge is a tough competitor, a winner of 10 of 33 starts with 7 seconds and 8 thirds, including a victory in the Hank Mills last year.
Red Zeus has been in search of a win since his last victory in the Dwight Patterson in April. But that was nine races ago.
Diodoro’s Storm Power comes off double stakes win, the Bienvenidos (dirt) and his most recent win the Walter Cluer Memorial (turf). Storm Power showed his sharpness by turning in a bullet work (best of 19) on Dec. 14, of :45.4 for four furlongs.
The question mark in the Mills is Balooga Bull. A multiple stakes winner in Canada and winner of 16 of 22 races, Balooga Bull’s front-running tactics may give trainer Ardell Sayler his first local win.