On a stakes-filled card at Santa Anita Park Oct. 1, the $250,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes Presented by Emirate Airline stands out as the most contentious race of the bunch.
The 10th race on the program with a projected starting time of 5:38 p.m. PDT presents a number of options. The 1 1/4-mile turf event attracted nine fillies and mares, with a slot in the starting gate of the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs going to the winner.
Dubawi Heights, winner by a head in the Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park May 30, may be the slight favorite following her determined second to international turf star Stacelita on yielding turf in the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park Aug. 13. She is the 124-pound high weight.
Trained by Simon Callaghan, the 4-year-old British-bred daughter of Dubawi had a four-race winning streak halted in the Beverly D., her most recent start, in which she outran her 8-1 odds when forced into the role of pacesetter.
Joel Rosario again will ride Dubawi Heights, who also won the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood during her win streak. She owns a 4-4-1 record in 13 starts with earnings of $797,696, the highest among Yellow Ribbon starters.
Jerry and Ann Moss' homebred Cozi Rosie, winner of the John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT) Aug. 14, has enjoyed a consistent year, winning two of five races with two seconds and a third. In her only grade I attempt of the season, the 4-year-old Pleasantly Perfect filly finished third as the favorite in the Gamely.
Cozi Rosie has enjoyed success on the Santa Anita turf this year, winning the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) in February and finishing second by a half-length to Yellow Ribbon rival Malibu Pier in the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) in April. She defeated Malibu Pier by a half-length in the Mabee.
“Cozi Rosie is doing really, really well," trainer John Sadler said. "She comes off a nice win in the John Mabee and was unlucky at Hollywood. She had a few trips that weren’t very good.
“But she’s been ultra-consistent all year,” he added. “She ran really well here last winter, then got beat a lip in the Santa Barbara, so this is her time I’m hoping.”
Cozi Rosie has a 5-3-2 record from 13 starts, with earnings of $477,280.
Spendthrift Farm's Malibu Pier won the Santa Ana (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita in addition to the Santa Barbara this spring. The Carla Gaines trainee also captured the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIIT) prior to her runner-up effort in the Mabee. The 4-year-old Malibu Moon miss is a lifetime winner of six of 12 starts with earnings totaling $457,200.
Pam and Marin Wygod's homebred Harmonious is another sure to get attention. Trained by John Shirreffs, the 4-year-old daughter of Dynaformer was slow to rally from last in the Mabee, in which she was the 9-10 favorite, but finished full of run in fourth, one length behind the winner. After captruing the American Oaks (gr.IT) and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) last year, she'll be looking for her first win in five tries in 2011.
City to City captured Del Mar's Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in game fashion Sept. 5. The 4-year-old City Zip filly knows the course, winning the China Doll and Providencia (gr. IIT) over the Santa Anita layout last year.
Medaglia d'Amour, second in the Palomar for Ben Cecil after setting the pace, also returns in the Yellow Ribbon.
Irish-bred Cambina, the lone 3-year-old in the field, won this year's Providencia and American Oaks, finishing in a dead-heat at Hollywood with Nereid for trainer Jeff Bonde. The little filly will be charging late.
$250,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes Presented by Emirates Airline (gr. IT, Race 10, 5:38 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Turning Top (IRE), D R Flores, 119, S Callaghan
2. Cozi Rosie (KY), G K Gomez, 121, J W Sadler
3. Dubawi Heights (GB), J Rosario, 124, S Callaghan
4. Malibu Pier (KY), B Blanc, 121, C Gaines
5. City to City (KY), M E Smith, 119, J Hollendorfer
6. Private Affair (PER), H I Berrios, 119, R Cardenas
7. Harmonious (KY), M Garcia, 121, J A Shirreffs
8. Cambina (IRE), P A Valenzuela, 121, J Bonde
9. Medaglia d'Amour (KY), J Talamo, 119, B D Cecil