A Neck & A Head Separate Top Three As Queen Ofthe Temple Is Up To Win Marathon $100,000 Santa Barbara Stakes
A NECK & A HEAD SEPARATE TOP THREE AS QUEEN OFTHE TEMPLE IS UP TO WIN MARATHON $100,000 SANTA BARBARA STAKES, GETTING 1 ½ MILES ON TURF IN 2:26.64
ARCADIA, CA (April 30, 2023)—With a neck and a head separating the top three finishers at the end of a marathon mile and one half on turf, it was the Dan Blacker-trained Queen ofthe Temple who prevailed by a neck under Joe Bravo in Sunday’s $100,000 Santa Barbara Stakes at Santa Anita. A 5-year-old mare by Temple City, Queen of the Temple got the distance in 2:26.64.
With longshot Exit Soul going to the lead from a hillside start and setting all the interior splits under Kent Desormeaux, Queen ofthe Temple, who saved ground at the rail while third into the far turn, found a seem inside Zeyaraat turning for home and gradually wore down Exit Soul in a thriller.
Most recently second going a mile and one quarter on turf in the Grade III Santa Ana Stakes March 12, Queen ofthe Temple was off as the 2-1 second choice in a field of six older fillies and mares and paid $6.40, $2.60 and $2.20.
“What won the race was Dan’s details on the horse,” said Bravo, who was aboard for the first time today. “He called me up and gave me such good instructions and details about her. It was almost like he rode the horse. Turning for home she just fought…He told me to be careful with her, if you make the lead she will kind of wait.
“At the sixteenth pole, we made the lead and she waited for the first two. It’s a great feeling to have when they get up underneath you and run. She knew the horse was there and she was going to fight.”
A 5-year-old mare by Temple City out of the Read the Footnotes mare Queenameina, Queen ofthe Temple is owned by Radley Equine, Inc., Roger Featherston, Rick Gold and Tony Maslowski. Third in last year’s Santa Barbara, Queen ofthe Temple notched her first stakes win today and improved her overall record to 13-2-6-3. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $237,840.
“I’m just really thankful for all the owner, especially Mr. Featherson,” said Blacker. “He has been a big supporter of mine right from when I started training. I’m just really appreciative to him and the other owners. I’m really happy that she finally got the stakes win. She’s been knocking on the door for so long and it’s just a thrill.”
Irish-bred Duvet Day, fifth with a half mile to run, surged late on the far outside under Juan Hernandez to nip the pacesetter by a head for the place. Off at 6-5, Duvet Day paid $2.40 and $2.10.
Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Exit Soul ran a tremendous race in defeat and despite being caught on the money, was back well in front on the gallop-out past the wire. Off at 9-1, she paid $3.40 to show while finishing 2 ¼ length better than Zeyaraat.
Fractions on the Santa Barbara were 24.36, 49.57, 1:14.45, 1:39.01 and 2:02.75.