Mea Domina, unbeaten in four starts over Santa Anita’s turf course, and Attima, victorious in her only start over the surface, will share high weight of 120 pounds in Monday’s President's Day running of Santa Anita’s Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares at one mile.
A 6-year-old mare trained by Ron McAnally, Mea Domina has won all four of her Santa Anita races at Monday's eight furlongs. The 6-year-old Dance Brightly mare has been freshened since being beaten by less than one length in Hollywood Park’s Matriarch (gr. I) Nov. 26. In her last start at Santa Anita, the bay, owned and bred by Janis Whitham, won Oak Tree’s 2005 Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) in wire-to-wire fashion under regular rider Tyler Baze.
Attima, a 4-year-old British-bred filly from the barn of Julio Canani, competed on Santa Anita’s grass course for the first time in her last start Jan. 28, capturing the Wishing Well Handicap at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside. It was her fourth win in seven starts since being imported from England. Her victories include last year’s San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar and Hollywood Park’s Honeymoon Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. IIT).
“She was a little difficult to ride in the beginning," said Victor Espinoza, who will ride Attima for the seventh time on Monday’s holiday program. "But each race, she’s adjusted and become more professional. Now, she’s easy to ride. One mile should be no problem for her.”
Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Attima, a daughter of Zafonic, has earned $309,336 while posting an overall record of 5-2-0 in12 starts that includes three winless efforts in her native England. Mea Domina is the field’s most accomplished entrant with a bankroll of $735,628 from a 7-3-1 mark in 15 career starts.
The Irish-bred Grande Melody, trained by Patrick Biancone, won the Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) by a nose on the Hollywood Park turf Dec. 18 before returning to finish fourth in the San Gorgonio 'Cap (gr. IIT) at nine furlongs on the Santa Anita lawn three weeks later. Julien Leparoux has the return engagement aboard the 4-year-old Grand Lodge filly.
$150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 4:38 p.m.)
Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Beneficial Bartok (CA), 114, 30/1
2. Mea Domina (KY), Tyler Baze, 120, 3/1
3. Singalong (GB), Garrett K. Gomez, 114, 6/1
4. Quemar (NZ), Jon K. Court, 114, 15/1
5. Maxxi Arte (IRE), David R. Flores, 114, 30/1
6. Grande Melody (IRE), Julien R. Leparoux, 115, 7/2
7. Flip Flop (FR), Brice Blanc, 114, 15/1
8. Attima (GB), Victor Espinoza, 120, 5/2
9. Conveyor's Angel (FL), Saul Arias, 113, 20/1
10. Clinet (IRE), Alex O. Solis, 116, 6/1
-- Berbatim (KY), SCRATCHED