UK Invader Owns Class Edge in 'Cienegas

UK Invader Owns Class Edge in 'Cienegas
Photo: Trevor Jones
Wake Up Maggie makes her first start in the U.S. in the Las Cienegas Handicap.
Wake Up Maggie, an Irish-bred import from the United Kingdom making her first start in the U.S. for trainer Julio Canani, is the 119-pound high weight in the $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita April 13.

Twelve older fillies and mares entered the about 6 1/2-furlong event, including Lightmyfirebaby and Ingrid the Gambler, who both won stakes on the hillside in their last starts.

Wake Up Maggie, a 5-year-old Xaar mare, won a pair of group III races in England last year, matching the total number of graded wins by the remainder of the Las Cienegas line-up. Her European earnings of $470,204 is by far the most in the field. She has excelled at seven furlongs while posting an overall record of 4-5-1 in 15 starts.

Making her first start for the partnership of Bloodstock Management Services and Bradley, Wake Up Maggie has not raced since tiring and finishing 10th in the one-mile Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket Oct. 6. Tyler Baze, third in the current Santa Anita jockey standings, has the assignment for Canani.

Jerry Jamgotchian's Ingrid the Gambler has not been out of the money in six lifetime starts, winning twice. In her third try down the hill, she captured the Wishing Well Handicap last time out by one length Feb. 10. This will be her graded stakes debut.

Trained by Tim Yakteen, the Florida-bred 4-year-old Johannesburg filly grabbed the lead in the stretch of the Wishing Well and held off her challengers gamely while drifting out approaching the wire at odds of 9-1. Stewards reviewed the finish but let her victory stand.

Lightmyfirebaby, also making her graded stakes debut, comes off a three-quarters of a length win in the Irish O'Brien Stakes for California breds on the hillside March 17. Barry Abrams trains the 5-year-old Unusual Heat mare for the Richard J. O'Neill Trust. She has four wins in 15 lifetime starts.

Super Freaky, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly trained by Doug O’Neill, has lost six in a row since taking the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) more than a year ago. She won the La Habra Stakes over the downhill turf course prior to that. The Smart Strike filly has not been out since last October. Corey Nakatani rides.

Good Mood, an Irish-bred conditioned by Eric Guillot for Southern Equine Stable, captured Churchill Downs’ Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the grass at 1 1/8 miles last June. She most recently finished a distant fourth behind Nashoba’s Key in Santa Anita’s Santa Margarita (gr. IT) at nine furlongs March 9.

In her only try sprinting over the downhill layout, Good Mood was elevated to second via disqualification in the Monrovia Handicap (gr. IIT) on Jan. 1. Michael Baze will be back aboard the 4-year-old Danehill Dancer filly who has has won twice in 12 races.

The field includes another debuting European import, Bahama Mama. While competing in Germany, France and England, the Irish-bred Bahama Mama earned $177,031 while posting a 5-2-4 mark in 17 starts. James Cassidy trains the Forging Oaks Farm 4-year-old filly, who will be ridden by David Flores. 

The British-bred Red Diadem has won three of four grass sprints including Del Mar’s Daisycutter Handicap when she last raced nine months ago. She also owns two wins over the course against allowance foes.

$100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT, April 13, race 9, 4:30 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Stormin Mon (KY), 114, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
2. Bahama Mama (IRE), 116, David R. Flores
3. Macadamia (KY), 113, Joel Rosario
4. Pat the Cool Cat (KY), 114, Mike E. Smith
5. Red Diadem (GB), 115, Victor Espinoza
6. Lightmyfirebaby (CA), 116, Alex O. Solis
7. Wake Up Maggie (IRE), 119, Tyler Baze
8. Super Freaky (FL), 116, Corey S. Nakatani
9. Good Mood (IRE), 115, Michael C. Baze
10. Ingrid the Gambler (FL), 114, Joseph Talamo
11. Justice Is Brief (CA), 111, Martin A. Pedroza
12. Shermeen (IRE), 115, Rafael Bejarano

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