BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Florida-bred Sister Otoole looks to her repeat her victory in last year’s CTT and TOC Friday as she takes on eight rivals on the Del Mar turf course. The $100,000 CTT and TOC, for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and older, will be contested around three turns at the about distance of a mile-and-three-eighths with the temporary inside rail set at 30 feet.
The CTT and TOC will be only the second start of the year for Sister Otoole, who exits a fifth-place finish behind winner Salimah in an upper level, $80,000 optional claiming going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf at Saratoga on July 13.
Following Sister Otoole’s victory in last year’s CTT and TOC, trainer Graham Motion shipped the 6-year-old mare to Keeneland where she finished third in the Grade 3 Dowager won by Temple City Terror going a mile-and-a-half on the turf on Oct. 23 before returning to Del Mar. In her final race of 2022 at the seaside track, she finished fourth in the Grade 3 Red Carpet won by Bellstreet Bridie going a mile-and-three-eighths on Nov. 24.
Sister Otoole was bred by Helen and Joseph Barbazon and is by Amira’s Prince (Ire), who stands at their Pleasant Acres Stallions. She is out of the unraced Distorted Humor mare O’Toole and looks to improve on her career record of three wins, five seconds and four thirds in 20 career starts with earnings of $335,470.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Sister Otoole will be ridden by Antonio Fresu from the outside post nine.
Queen Ofthe Temple – Benoit Photo
The CTT and TOC presents an evenly-matched field of fillies and mares including Neige Blanche (Fr) and Queen Ofthe Temple, who were both most recently first and second respectively in the $100,000 Possibly Perfect at a mile-and-a-quarter on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita on June 18.
The Possibly Perfect was the only start this year for Neige Blanche, who was fifth in last year’s CTT and TOC. The Leonard Powell-trained daughter of Anodin (Ire) out of Bianca Neve (Fr), by Muhtathir (GB) had only one start last year following the CTT and TOC, a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive won by Going to Vegas at 10 furlongs on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita on Oct. 8.
Neige Blanche will race in the colors of owners Laura De Seroux Naify, Marsha Naify and Mathilde Powell. She has 10 wins and four thirds in 22 career start with earnings of $607,512.
Diego A. Herrera will ride her from post six.
Trainer Dan Blacker will saddle Queen Ofthe Temple for owners Radley Equine Inc., Roger Featherston, Rick Gold and Tony E. Maslowski as she looks for her third career victory in 14 starts. With earnings of $257,840, she also has seven seconds and three thirds.
Sixth in the Rodeo Drive and third in the Red Carpet, Queen Ofthe Temple won the $100,000 Santa Barbara going a mile-and-a-half on the downhill turf at Santa Anita on April 30 just prior to the Possibly Perfect. This year she was also second to Duvet Day in the $102,000 Astra going a mile-and-a-quarter on Jan. 21 and second to Ballet Dancing in the Grade 3 Santa Ana at a mile-and-a-half on March 12, both on the downhill turf at Santa Anita.
Joe Bravo has again been named to ride Queen Ofthe Temple and they have drawn post four.
Completing the field for the CTT and TOC are Symphony Perfect (Ire) with jockey Juan Hernandez, Happy Happy and rider Tiago Pereira, Oakhurst with Hector Berrios in the saddle, Paris Peacock (Ire) will have Drayden Van Dyke up, Eylara (Ire) with jockey Umberto Rispoli and Ramon Vasquez has the mount on Myfavoritedaughter.