Bringing back Majestic Heat on short notice would not have been a surprising move from the 5-year-old daughter of Unusual Heat’s former trainer Barry Abrams.
Abrams, who was forced by health problems to step away from training in 2016, was known for rapid turnarounds and, in fact, raced Majestic Heat four times over a 41-day period at the 2015 Del Mar summer meeting, once on only six days rest.
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who took over with Majestic Heat in the fall of 2015, has spaced her races out to a much greater degree. That is, until Sunday when Majestic Heat will battle seven rivals in the $100,000 Betty Grable Stakes eight days removed from finishing sixth of 14 in the Grade II $200,000 Goldikova Stakes which kicked off the Breeders’ Cup Saturday extravaganza here.
The Betty Grable, a seven-furlong sprint for California-bred older fillies and mares, will also be the first dirt try for Majestic Heat, who has a career record of five wins from 14 starts and earnings of $353,329 for Madeline Auerbach and partners.
Like virtually all moves by Mandella, there’s considerable thought behind this one.
“I’ve always wanted to try her on dirt and I don’t think she got much out of her last race,” Mandella said Saturday morning by phone from Santa Anita. “She came out of (the Goldikova) bucking and kicking and full of energy. She just didn’t run much, with no extenuating circumstances whatsoever.
“She’s a big, strong mare and she’s always trained on the dirt like she likes it. I wish the race was a couple weeks later, but we’re going to give it a try.”
The field from the rail: Run For Retts (Rafael Bejarano, 12-1), Late N Left (Stewart Elliott, 8-1), Bad Ju Ju (Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1), How About Zero (Mario Gutierrez, 3-1, Cuddle Alert (Edwin Maldonado, 5-1), Time For Ebby (Joe Talamo, 20-1), Majestic Heat (Flavien Prat, 7-2) and Barbara Beatrice (Tiago Pereira, 4-1).