Las Setas favored in Weber City Miss
Las Setas. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
Robert Manfuso, Wayne Harrison and Katharine Voss’ multiple stakes-winning homebred Las Setas will attempt to stretch both her speed and her streak as the horse to catch in Saturday’s $125,000 Weber City Miss at Laurel.
The fourth running of the Weber City Miss for 3-year-old fillies at about 1 1/16 miles is among seven stakes worth $750,000 in purses on an 11-race Spring Stakes Spectacular program highlighted by the $125,000 Xpressbet Federico Tesio, which serves as a ‘Win and In’ event for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 144th Preakness (G1) May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course.
Once again, the Weber City Miss will serve as a ‘Win and In’ race for the 95th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 17 at Pimlico. It has been won in previous years by Goodonehoney (2018), Lights of Medina (2017) and A P Majetstic, via disqualification (2016).
Trained by Voss and ridden in all her races by Jevian Toledo, who gets a return call Saturday from Post 6 in the field of seven, Las Setas went winless in her lone start as a 2-year-old. She has been perfect in three tries this year, all on the front end, starting with a 1 ¾-length maiden triumph Jan. 20. All three have come since the addition of blinkers.
She is 7-5 on the morning line in the seven-horse field.
“First time out, she was running really nicely and Toledo opted to just kind of wait off the two horses that were in front, and when [jockey] Trevor [McCarthy] reached up to hit his filly, [Las Setas] shied out to the middle of the racetrack,” Voss said. “Then she went to running again and when the winner came inside of her and kind of angled toward her, the filly wasn’t going to run into her but I think she thought it was, and she shied again.
“So, we put blinkers on her and said to go ahead and go to the lead next time and get that one out of the way,” she added. “After that, we worked her behind a horse to let her get a little dirt, and of course first time she got dirt she got a little flustered. But other than that, she’ll just do whatever you ask her to do. She gallops nicely. She’s not trying to run off with anybody. She’s not rank. She’s been on the front end of her races, just because she’s fast.”
Each of Las Setas’ last two wins have come in stakes. She sprang a 9-1 upset of the seven-furlong Wide Country Feb. 16, then was favored over a similar group and cruised home by five lengths in the one-mile Beyond the Wire March 16. Voss said added distance is not an obstacle for the daughter of Seville, a German-bred Group 1 winner in Australia.
“She’s by a mile and a half stallion, so the distance is not a concern. She’s a very, very easy, fluid mover. A mile and a sixteenth shouldn’t be a problem,” Voss said. “Her last race was a very nice performance. I took her back to the farm for a couple weeks to give her a little bit of a break. She’s good.”
A half-sister to stakes winner Corvus, who captured the 2015 Maryland Million Nursery in his career debut, tuned up for the Weber City Miss with a bullet five-furlong breeze in 1:01 Tuesday at Laurel, fastest of 12 horses at the distance.
“On the one hand, she’s always been sort of easily flustered,” Voss said, “but other than that she’s always done everything well. She’s always worked well. You think, ‘Something’s wrong with this racetrack. It’s too fast. Either that, or this filly is a freak.’ She’s always showed us a lot of ability.
“She’s got such an easy way of going,” she added. “She’s a big filly. I had to have special girths made for her brother, Corvus, because the ones in the room don’t fit him. She wears his girths. You watch her, you don’t think she’s that big but if you stand up to her, she’s a big filly. But, she’s very light on her feet and just a really easy mover.”
Jagger Inc.’s Our Super Freak (7-2) has finished behind Las Setas in each of the last two stakes, running third and second, respectively, and also placed in back-to-back stakes at Laurel to cap her juvenile season. The Mineshaft filly has been worse than third just once in eight career tries for trainer Jamie Ness.
“She keeps hitting the board, she just can’t get over the hump. But, we’ll keep trying,” Ness said. “She fires every time, we just haven’t been able to catch a break. We’re just getting outrun; maybe one of these times it’s going to be her turn. She’s been consistent, she’s coming into the races good and everything’s good, so we’ll give her another chance. She always trains fabulous, she just gets in races where there’s one or two better horses.”
Rose Petal Stable’s Pat’s No Fool (4-1) enters the Weber City Miss off a three-quarter-length triumph in the one-mile Maddie May Stakes for New York-bred fillies March 31 at Aqueduct. The daughter of Cross Traffic has tried the Weber City Miss distance before, finishing third in an optional claiming allowance Feb. 22 at Laurel.
“She had a terrible trip that day. She didn’t break real well for some reason and the pace was so slow, they backed it up. She kind of didn’t get the greatest trip that day but she still ran well. It was a better race than it probably looked on paper. That’s why we went to NY after that,” trainer Gary Capuano said. “She ran huge up there.
“She didn’t break real well and she had an inside post and it turned out to be good. The biggest thing was to get her into position and try to keep her off the rail if we could,” he added. “It kind of worked out where she didn’t break real good and she was able to get a good outside trip. She went pretty wide but I think the rail was deep up there that day. She was a real fit horse.”
Jorge Ruiz rides Pat’s No Fool from Post 2 at 122 pounds, sharing topweight with Las Setas.
“She’s training well,” Capuano said. “It’s going to be a tough race but we’re going to give it a shot.”
Make Family First Stable’s Money Fromheaven (20-1) is entered to make her 3-year-old debut in the Weber City Miss. Trained by Hamilton Smith, the daughter of graded-stakes winning sprinter Munnings won twice to end her juvenile season, the latter coming by a neck at odds of 23-1 in the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.
Needing five tries to break her maiden, Money Fromheaven has closed from far back in each of her two wins. She debuted on the turf last summer, then was entered in four straight grass races, each of which was moved to the main track.
“She’s bred for the grass, that little thing, but we’re going to look to the grass later on. She’s a nice filly,” Smith said. “I think that’s going to be her running style. Even though she’s by Munnings, and a lot of those are speed horses, she definitely looks like she prefers to just sit back and make her run. We’ll just let her tell us what she wants to do. She’s a pretty nice little filly. She’s small but she tries.”
Completing the field are GMB Racing’s Drinking Dixie, a March 8 allowance winner at Delta Downs; Past Perfect, a, winner of two of her last three starts for trainer Ken Cox; and Oaklawn Park-based maiden Trapped N My Mind.