Before the sun sets on the 69th season of horse racing at the L.A. County Fair, one final stakes race will feature seven Thoroughbred distaffers, including one who commanded a record price at auction, one who supplied a special memory for her trainer and one who has competed admirably in stakes company at Fairplex Park for the past two years.
Scheduled as the penultimate 11th race on Monday, September 24, the $65,000 Bangles and Beads Stakes is the last black-type event of the 16-day Fairplex meet. Carded at 6 ˝ furlongs, the race has attracted a diverse field of fillies and mares for its 39th running.
Heading the group is last year’s race winner, Selvatica. Now 6, the daughter of Forestry is campaigned by Marsha Naify, the first female chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California who purchased the seven-time winner for a record $560,000 at the 2007 Barretts January Mixed Sale, which was held at the Hinds Pavilion adjacent to Fairplex Park. Selvatica will be ridden by the track’s all-time leading jockey by stakes wins, David Flores, in her attempt to become only the fifth runner in history to win two editions of the Bangles and Beads.
Another Barretts auction graduate, Meetmeinthewoods, enters the contest off a half-length victory in a six-furlong allowance optional claiming event at Fairplex on September 9. That triumph marked the 1,000th career win for trainer Doug O’Neill, the 39-year-old horseman who topped the Fairplex standings every year from 2002 through 2005. Four-year-old Meetmeinthewoods ran third under Tyler Baze in the 1 1/16-mile CTBA Marian Stakes last year, and retains that rider’s services again on Monday.
The filly who finished just behind Meetmeinthewoods in their last race, Kalookan Lessie, will attempt to reverse that result in the Bangles and Beads. Although she has not won in three Fairplex starts, the 4-year-old filly placed in the track’s 2005 Black Swan Stakes and 2006 Pio Pico Stakes.
The highest earner in the field, with a $310,672 bankroll, is Vikki’s Honor. The 5-year-old