Sunday, March 12 2006 will be more memorable than most days for top trainer David Hofmans and for owners John and Jerry Amerman as well. The beautiful and spirited Balance, daughter of Thunder Gulch, made a distinctive statement on this day at the Santa Anita Oaks, with a great win over 8 eminent rivals including top contender Wild Fit: kudos to Victor Espinoza for superb judgment and handling, especially on the far turn. The 2 and a 1/2 length victory margin could have been even bigger had Espinoza and Balance not been forced 4 lanes wide throughout the race. Balance was through the fast main track in an impressive 1:42:99.
It was quite a race for Quiet Kim who came in second, in the face of 27-1 odds.
Many observers now consider Balance to be a leading contender for the coveted crown of being the top 3 and a 1/2 year old in all of the USA. Her 4 wins in her last 6 races certainly places at the top of the California equine league. Sunday’s event also saw her take revenge over Diplomat Lady to who she lost in the Hollywood Starlet.
“Pretty awesome” is how David Hofmans describes Balance, and she has proved that she can handle both dirt and turf with equal aplomb. Jockey Espinoza is so confident of the filly’s champion abilities that he is comfortable riding her wide and conceding ground to ‘avoid the traffic’. I would keep Balance in mind for the Kentucky Oaks on May 05 if I were you.