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SAUCEY EVENING RATES TOP BILLING IN SUNDAY'S CHINA DOLL
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 5, 2009) – California-bred Saucey Evening, a 1 ½-length loser to sophomore superstar Stardom Bound when third in last month’s Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes, heads a cast of ten 3-year-old fillies set for Sunday’s $70,000 China Doll Stakes at one mile over Santa Anita’s turf course.
Augustin Stable’s daughter of More Than Ready will be rejoined by Garrett Gomez, the country’s leading rider in purse earnings, when seeking her fourth victory in eight career starts for trainer H. Graham Motion. She carries 119 pounds.
Century Park, the field’s high weight at 122 pounds, will be ridden by two-time Eclipse Award winner John Velazquez. The Eastern-based Velazquez will be honored Sunday between races as the 60th recipient of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award presented to riders whose careers and personal character have earned them high esteem.
Trained by Bob Baffert for Donald Dizney, Century Park’s two victories in eight starts include a wire-to-wire score at odds of 24-1 in the Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes on Jan. 11 at Santa Anita. The homebred daughter of General Meeting has earned $109,360. She will break just outside of Saucey Evening in post position No. 10.
Saucey Evening, who has banked $286,390, has captured a pair of stakes for Cal-breds, Santa Anita’s $125,000 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes on Dec. 27 and Oak Tree’s $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies last Oct. 5. Following the latter, she ran fourth to Maram in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with Gomez in the saddle.
Tyler Baze will be aboard Hooh Why, who lost by a head to unbeaten Beltene in the $250,000 Sunshine Million Oaks on Jan. 24, her California debut. Trained by Carla Gaines for Derby Daze Farm and Hoffman, the Florida-bred daughter of Cloud Hopping has posted a 2-3-2 record in eight starts for earnings of $157,335.
The complete field for the China Doll Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Fastongrass, Alex Solis, 115; Gold Goddess, Jose Valdivia Jr., 115; Cornish Rose, Joel Rosario, 115; Acting Lady, Rafael Bejarano, 115; Deeveetee, Patrick Husbands, 115; Point of Reference, Leslie Mawing, 115; April Pride, David Flores, 115; Hooh Why, Tyler Baze, 115; Saucey Evening, Garrett Gomez, 119, and Century Park, John Velazquez, 122.
The China Doll is scheduled as the eighth race on a nine-race card that will be televised by HRTV. First post is at 12:30 p.m.