Off her sizzling win in the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II), lightly raced Reneesgotzip figures to be a heavy favorite in the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) at Santa Anita March 3.
Lanni Family Trust's unbeaten daughter of City Zip will be making her first start around two turns in the one-mile test. Eight sophomore fillies were entered in the Las Virgenes, which precedes the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) and the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on an 11-race program.
Trained by Peter Miller, Reneesgotzip is yet to be headed at any call.
She began her career with a wire-to-wire win at odds of 8-1 while defeating Bob Baffert’s odds-on favorite Eden's Moon by 2 1/4 lengths at six furlongs in December at Hollywood Park. In the 6 1/2-furlong Santa Ynez Jan. 15, she dashed five rivals by nearly eight lengths while completing the distance in 1:15.25.
Corey Nakatani, aboard for both of the victories, has the return assignment. They will break from post 7 with 117 pounds.
Eden’s Moon, who will get a rematch with Reneesgotzip in the Las Virgenes, came back to break her maiden by 11 1/2 lengths while racing one mile Jan. 8. Eden's Moon, trained by Baffert for Kaleem Shah, has not raced since her graduation. The Malibu Moon miss will be ridden again by Martin Garcia.
There are three fillies in the race that are stakes winners around two turns, including the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) vanquisher Killer Graces. In her first start at Santa Anita, the Congaree filly made her seasonal bow in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 28 and finished second behind Willa B Awesome. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Killer Graces has three wins and four seconds in a nine-race career and is the 122-pound high weight.
The California-bred Willa B Awesome sprang an 11-1 upset in the Santa Ysabel, which she won easily in front-running style by 3 1/2 lengths. Trained by Walther Solis, the daughter of Awesome Gambler has a 3-3-2 record in 10 starts as the most experienced runner in the field.
Charm the Maker had a bad start in the Santa Ysabel and struggled home fourth as the even-money choice. The Empire Maker filly won the 1 1/16-mile Sharp Cat last November for trainer Ron McAnally prior to finishing second in the Starlet.
Copper Penny Stables' Made to Love Her broke her maiden in her fifth start last October at Santa Anita. The daughter of Steviewonderboy was second to Reneesgotzip in the Santa Ynez for trainer James Kasparoff. That was her first start since winning the Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood by four lengths Nov. 20.
Open Water won her two most recent starts on Turfway Park's Polytrack by a combined 15 1/2 lengths. She makes her stakes debut for trainer Eric Guillot and Southern Equine Stable.
$250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I, Race 9, 4:38 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 Mile
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Your Special Day (KY), M E Smith, 117, J M Cassidy
2. Charm the Maker (KY), J Rosario, 117, R L McAnally
3. Willa B Awesome (CA), M A Pedroza, 119, W Solis
4. Killer Graces (KY), J Talamo, 122, J Hollendorfer
5. Eden's Moon (FL), M Garcia, 117, B Baffert
6. Made to Love Her (FL), R Bejarano, 117, J M Kasparoff
7. Reneesgotzip (KY), C S Nakatani, 117, P Miller
8. Open Water (KY), V Espinoza, 117, E J Guillot