ÉCLAIR DE LUNE HOLDS CLASS EDGE IN INITIAL MEGAHERTZ STAKES FOR FILLIES AND MARES

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan 20, 2011) – German-bred Éclair de Lune, winner of Arlington Park’s prestigious Grade I Beverly D last August and idle since a game effort in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 5, returns to action at Santa Anita in Sunday’s first running of the $75,000 Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf.

Rafael Bejarano assumes the mount on the 5-year-old mare who has earned $547,843 in but 11 career races and will be making her sixth United States start for Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally and owner Richard Duchossois.

On class alone, Éclair de Lune appears to be a standout among the six fillies and mares who will contest the stakes race named after the small, but hugely popular turf runner who displayed a brilliant turn of foot for the late Bobby Frankel, Santa Anita’s all-time leading trainer.

Eclair de Lune, who prior to coming to the United States, began her career with six races in France, will take an overall record of 3-2-1 into the Megahertz. She pressed the pace in the Breeders’ Cup event at Churchill Downs before fading to sixth, just two lengths behind victorious Shared Account.

Her opposition on Sunday includes 6-year-old Lilly Fa Pootz, a savvy claim by co-owner and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer who will have Joel Rosario in the saddle.

Hollendorfer tagged the daughter of Gilded Time for $16,000 on Dec. 10, 2009 at Golden Gate Fields. Lilly Fa Pootz has gone on to earn $218,870 for Hollendorfer and partner Team Green while compiling a 4-5-2 record in 14 starts.

She won last summer’s Osunitas Handicap at Del Mar and is coming out of five graded stakes competitions that include a nose loss to Wasted Tears in Del Mar’s Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes. Lilly Fa Pootz has an overall record of 8-7-8 in 32 starts for earnings of $258,492.

The complete field for the Megahertz Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Southern Fireball, Patrick Valenzuela, 117; Burg Berg, Mike Smith, 123; Lilly Fa Pootz, Joel Rosario, 123; Éclair de Lune, Rafael Bejarano, 123; It Tiz, David Flores, 123, and Sandi’s Ready, Joseph Talamo, 117.

The Megahertz will be contested as the eighth race on a nine-race program. First post is at 12:30 p.m.

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