DEL MAR, CA – With a stakes win over six furlongs on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park in June, Byrama is proven as a sprinter. What remains in question is how effective she can be around two turns.
In five starts at a mile or 1 1/8 miles, Byrama is winless, but has placed in three stakes. A 3-year-old British-bred filly, Byrama starts over a mile on turf in Friday’s $85,000 Sandy Blue Handicap for 3-year-olds at Del Mar.
“This race will tell us a lot,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “I think this is a good spot for her.”
The options in the future are turf sprints at Santa Anita, or races around two turns.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Byrama is unlucky not to have won at a mile. She was beaten a length in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes over a mile at Hollywood Park in May after experiencing trouble in the final furlong. Back in December, she was third in the Blue Norther Stakes over a mile at Santa Anita after a poor start. She closed more than 16 lengths in the final half-mile of that race.
In her last start, Byrama was fourth in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap over a mile on turf on July 22. Beaten 3 1/2 lengths, she trailed by 11 lengths on the backstretch and closed steadily through the stretch.
“She came from a long way out of it,” Callaghan said. “We’re taking the blinkers off. It might make her relax a little better.”
Garrett Gomez rode Byrama in the San Clemente and has the mount in the Sandy Blue. Byrama is the only stakes winner in a field of seven.
“It’s obviously an easier field than the San Clemente,” Callaghan said.
As a closer, Byrama could have a pace to follow. Lady Ten, third in the Le Cle Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 8, is likely to lead, and could be challenged by Don’tgetmadalexis, who was sixth in the San Clemente.
Don’tgetmadalexis won four races earlier this year, including a $15,000 claimer over 5 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Park in January, leading throughout.
Lady Ten is trained by Bob Baffert. She won twice on turf at Hollywood Park in May and June before the loss in the Le Cle Stakes, her stakes debut.
“She’s had a little freshening,” Baffert said. “She’s got speed.”