Cozi Rosie is the 121-pound high weight in the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita April 16 following a terrific return to action in winning the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) after an absence of nearly nine months.
Trained by John Sadler, Jerry and Ann Moss' 4-year-old homebred daughter of Pleasantly Perfect heads a field of six older fillies and mares in the 1 1/4-mile Santa Barbara. The race is the ninth on the penultimate day of the 2010-11 Santa Anita season, with a 4:38 p.m. PDT scheduled start.
Winner of the Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) and second to Evening Jewel in the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) last May at Hollywood Park, Cozi Rosie was off until her return in the Buena Vista Feb. 21. She rallied from seventh, mowing down her competition to win the one-mile test by 1 1/4 lengths. Malibu Pier, who is also in the Santa Barbara field, finished third as a 3-1 favorite in the field of 10.
Jockey Mike Smith has the return call aboard Cozi Rosie, who, according to Sadler, was sidelined because “she went off last year and we weren’t happy with her.”
Cozi Rosie makes her first try at 10 furlongs. But both Sadler and Smith feel the extra ground will serve her well off what she showed in a strong closing effort to nearly catch Evening Jewel in the 1 1/8-mile Honeymoon. Cozi Rosie, who drew the inside post in the small field, comes into the Santa Barbara with earnings of $247,280 from a 4-1-1 record in 9 starts.
Malibu Pier rebounded from her third in the Buena Vista to win the Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT) March 19 by one length over Turning Top, who also returns in the Santa Barbara.
Trained by Carla Gaines, Malibu Pier displayed her gameness in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Ana by relinquishing her early lead to Lilly Fa Pootz before regaining it in the stretch and holding off Turning Top.
Gaines trains Malibu Pier for B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm. The homebred 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon , also making her first start at 1 ¼ miles, will be ridden by Brice Blanc.
Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard Malibu Pier for the Santa Ana, shows up on Turning Top in the Santa Barbara.
Malibu Pier, to carry 119 pounds, is 4-1-1 from eight starts for earnings of $252,200.
Turning Top bobbled on the final turn in the Santa Ana but closed well for second in the Santa Ana. The 5-year-old Irish-bred mare is proven at the Santa Barbara distance, winning Hollywood Park’s Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIIT) last June. She was second by one length to Hibaayeb in Oak Tree’s Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT), also at the 10-furlong distance, at Hollywood in October.
Trained by Simon Callaghan for Michael B. Tabor, the daughter of Pivotal has posted a 6-3-4 mark in 20 career starts while earning $274,943.
Arnold Zetcher's Andina, an Irish-bred filly trained by Ben Cecil, and Diamond A Racing's Calle Vista, from the Richard Mandella barn, both come into the Santa Barbara off optional claiming allowance victories.
British-bred mare Restless Soul, third in last year's Santa Barbara when 5 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Tuscan Evening, completes the field for trainer Neil Drysdale.
$150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 4:38 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Trainer
1. Cozi Rosie (KY), M E Smith, 121, J W Sadler
2. Malibu Pier (KY), B Blanc, 119, C Gaines
3. Calle Vista (KY), M A Pedroza, 116, R E Mandella
4. Andina (IRE), V Espinoza, 115, B D Cecil
5. Restless Soul (GB), A Quinonez, 114, N D Drysdale
6. Turning Top (IRE), R Bejarano, 118, S Callaghan