(John Sadler / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

From the Los Alamitos Media Team:


Runner-up behind stablemate Big Switch in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Nov. 5, Big Novel will stretch to a mile for the first time in the $100,000 Soviet Problem Stakes Friday at Los Alamitos.

Restricted to 2-year-old fillies bred or sired in California, the Soviet Problem attracted nine entrants.

Part of the Golden State Series, the Soviet Problem is the last of eight races. Post time Friday is 12:30 p.m. Scheduled post time for the main event is 4:28 p.m.

Owned by breeder George Krikorian and trained by John Sadler, Big Novel  was more than six lengths clear of the rest of the field in the Golden State contest at seven furlongs.

A daughter of Mr. Big and the Heatseeker mare Steamy Novel, Big Novel hasn’t been worse than third in her four races and has earned $95,850. She broke her maiden Oct. 2 at Santa Anita.

At the Spa will try for her fourth win in five starts for a partnership that includes Tom Beckerle, Saul Carrillo and breeder Terry Lovingier and trainer Jorge Periban. The Outwork filly out of the Smoke Glacken mare Spa Creek, who suffered her lone loss when last in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante Sept. 5, has banked $165,000 and has stakes victories in the Fasig Tipton Debutante and CTBA.

Four members of the Soviet Problem cast – Dendera, Girl Ranger, Professors’ Pride and Smilin Evie – are coming off wins.

Trained by Sadler for Cicero Farms LLC and breeder Batchelor Family Trust, Dendera was a neck winner as the prohibitive 1-5 favorite in an optional claimer going the Soviet Problem distance on turf Oct. 22.

The win for the Shaman Ghost filly out of the Scat Daddy mare Daddy’s Due was her second in three races on grass. She was fifth of 10 in her debut in her lone try on dirt July 16. She’s banked $83,200.

Dismissed at 35-1 in her Nov. 7 bow in a $50,000 maiden claimer for California breds, Girl Ranger rolled to a 5 ¼ length win for Marsha Naify and trainer Juan Carlos Lopez, but the daughter of U.S. Ranger is now in the stable of Michael McCarthy.

Out of the Bertrando mare Soul Flyer, Girl Ranger picked up $21,600 for the authoritative score.

Professors’ Pride debuted with a one-length victory as the 8-5 second choice Nov. 14 at Del Mar. The Bayern filly out of the Twirling Candy mare Last Resort earned $42,000 for the win for Academic Farms and trainer Eddie Truman.

Trained by Richard Baltas for Panic Stables LLC, Smilin Evie has been away since prevailing by 1 ¼ lengths in her initial try Oct. 24. The Tom’s Tribute filly out of the Exchange Rate mare Lady Katfish collected $36,600 for the triumph.

Trainer Walther Solis entered both Madiha and Munny Penny.

Owned by Zahra Madiha, Amanda Navarro and breeder Lovingier, Madhia is winless in five starts with earnings of $25,880. The daughter of Shaman Ghost and the Great Notion mare Very Few Details finished fifth in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies in her most recent outing.

Owned and bred by Lovingier, Munny Penny will be making her first start since finishing second behind At the Spa in the Fasig Tipton Debutante June 20. The Munnings filly out of the Animal Kingdom mare Northern Song has earned $72,460 while winning once in three races.

The field is completed by Rose Maddox, who was a neck behind Dendera when last seen Oct. 22. The Grazen filly out of the Unusual Heat mare has earned $36,000 for owner-breeder Nick Alexander and trainer Steve Miyadi. Rose Maddox was a first out winner over the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields Sept. 11.

From inside out, the field for the Soviet Problem Stakes: Madiha, Kyle Frey, 117 pounds; Dendera, Flavien Prat, 120; Girl Ranger, Drayden Van Dyke, 120; Professors’ Pride, Juan Hernandez, 120; At the Spa, Tyler Baze, 120; Smilin Evie, Ricardo Gonzalez, 120; Rose Maddox, Umberto Rispoli, 124; Munny Penny, Abel Cedillo, 120 and Big Novel, Joe Bravo, 120.

One race earlier, trainer Art Sherman will saddle the final starter of his career when Chasing Alchemy will try to break his maiden against seven other 2-year-old maidens in a $50,000 claimer at six furlongs.

Sherman, 84, who has spent more than 65 years in racing as an exercise rider, jockey and trainer – which included conditioning two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome – will be honored on his retirement with a video presentation and winner’s circle ceremony between races.