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DIVERSE GROUP OF FILLIES TO CONTEST SUNDAY’S GRADE II SANTA YNEZ STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 12, 2012) – Sunday’s 61st running of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs has attracted a diverse lineup of six 3-year-old fillies ranging from Bob Baffert’s Grade I placed Candrea to Reneesgotzip, a dazzling maiden special weight winner in her one and only start for trainer Peter Miller.
Candrea will be trying to return to her earlier form after drubbings in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Grade III Delta Downs Princess that followed a half-length loss to Weemissfrankie when second in Santa Anita’s Grade I Oak Leaf Stakes last Oct. 2.
Reneesgotzip, a daughter of City Zip purchased at auction last April for $45,000 by the Lanni Family Trust, will be attempting to validate her maiden victory at Hollywood Park on Dec. 18 that earned an outstanding Beyer speed figure of 98. Under a hand ride by Corey Nakatani, Reneesgotzip won by 2 ¼ lengths while covering six furlongs in 1:09. Nakatani will be back aboard as the chestnut filly leaps into the graded stakes ranks.
Candrea returns to a proven surface with regular rider Martin Garcia in the saddle in her bid for atonement. The Florida-bred daughter of Trippi, a $340,000 sales purchase by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, has earned $116,000 from a 2-1-0 record in 5 starts.
After taking Hollywood Park’s $100,000 Moccasin Stakes at seven furlongs on Nov. 20, Made to Love Her will be in quest of her third straight victory for trainer James Kasparoff and Copper Penny Stables.
The Florida-bred daughter of Stevie Wonderboy, plucked at sale for $30,000, has returned $113,960 on that investment from a record of 2-1-2 in 6 races. Rafael Bejarano, aboard in the last three, has the return riding assignment.
Marsha Naify’s Rowdy Gal is unbeaten in two starts. After breaking her maiden by three lengths at Hollywood Park in November, she returned last month to take an allowance event by 1 ¼ lengths at odds of 2-5. Joel Rosario handles the John Sadler trainee. The Kentucky-bred Pure Prize offspring brought $130,000 at auction.
Trainer Steve Asmussen’s powerful national outfit will be represented by Painted Woman, who has raced at Keeneland and Woodbine Race Course while winning 2 of 4 starts. Mike Smith has the mount atop the Forest Wildcat filly obtained by Kirk and Judy Robison for $85,000.
The complete field for the Santa Ynez Stakes, with jockeys in post position order (each starter carries 118 pounds): Made to Love Her, Rafael Bejarano; Reneesgotzip, Corey Nakatani; Rowdy Gal, Joel Rosario; Painted Woman, Mike Smith; Lady Hokulea, Joseph Talamo, and Candrea, Martin Garcia.
Jay Em Ess Stable’s Vision in Gold, on the shelf since losing by one-half length when third to Miss Match in Santa Anita’s Grade I Santa Margarita Handicap last March, returns to action as co-high weight among seven entrants in Sunday’s supporting feature, the ninth running of the $75,000 Paseana Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles
Rosario will ride the 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro mare, who won the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes prior to her game try in the Santa Margarita. The Ron Ellis-trainee, whose 3-2-1 record in 9 starts has earned $208,480, will share high weight of 121 pounds with Ellafitz and Briecat.
The Baffert-trained Ellafitz is coming off a sharp 3 ¼-length victory in Hollywood Park’s Grade II Bayakoa Handicap on Dec. 4. The 5-year-old daughter of Tiznow has earned $230,857 from a 4-2-2 mark in 12 starts for D. and E. Racing. Garcia rides.
Briecat, a 7-year-old mare trained by Vladimir Cerin for David and Holly Wilson, has been victorious in 10 of 29 starts for earnings of $627,567. The multiple Grade II winner will have Victor Espinoza in the saddle.
The complete field for the Paseana Handicap, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Downhill Diva, Brice Blanc, 117; Spirit Seeker, Talamo, 113; Fashion Trend, David Flores, 115; Kayce Ace, Bejarano, 116; Ellafitz, Garcia, 121; Vision in Gold, Rosario, 121, and Briecat, Victor Espinoza, 121.
The Santa Ynez is carded as the fourth race on a program of nine races with the Paseana going as the eighth. First post is at 12:30 p.m.