Juddmonte Farms' Intercontinental, winner of the Nov. 28 Matriarch (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park in her last start of 2004, is scheduled to make her 2005 debut for trainer Bobby Fankel in Monday's $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
A finalist for the Eclipse Award for champion turf filly or mare last year, the 5-year-old Intercontinental would likely be favored in the 11-horse field if the one-mile event remains on the turf. Recent bad weather in Southern California makes that a dicey proposition.
Intercontinental, whose Matriarch victory was also at one mile, received top weight of 121 pounds and is to be ridden by Jerry Bailey. The daughter of Danehill ran fifth in the Diana Handicap (gr. IT) on a yielding Saratoga turf last summer and Frankel may choose not to run her if the sod isn't firm. She has won eight of 15 in her career, including four stakes, with earnings of $781,263.
Elusive Diva figures to be well suited to the challenge, regardless of the surface. She is coming off a victory in the Wishing Well, her turf debut on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita Jan. 30 for trainer Mark Glatt, and won the Railbird (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
Hoh Buzzard, who was fifth to Intercontinental in the Matriarch, won the Brown Bess Handicap at Golden Gate Fields last month on a yielding turf course.$150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT), fillies & mares 4 & up, 1 mile (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Resplendency (KY), 114, Patrick A. Valenzuela
2. Elusive Diva (KY), 116, Kent J. Desormeaux
3. Katdogawn (GB), 118, Rene R. Douglas
4. Intercontinental (GB), 121, Jerry D. Bailey
5. Solar Echo (KY), 115, David R. Flores
6. Belle Ange (FR), 115, Victor Espinoza
7. Uraib (IRE), Jon K. Court
8. Any for Love (ARG), 115, Tyler Baze
9. Miss Terrible (ARG), 115, Mike E. Smith
10. Ask for the Moon (FR), 117, Gary L. Stevens
11. Hoh Buzzard (IRE), 117, Tony Farinaalso eligible
12. Irgunette (AUS) 6 Mare 113 Alex Bisono
13. Megec Blis (IRE) 4 Filly 112 Julio A. Garcia