Ema Bovary extended her win streak to six straight races after the stewards disqualified Royally Chosen for causing interference approaching the wire Wednesday in the $84,850 Kalookan Queen Handicap for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.Royally Chosen won a long stretch long battle with Ema Bovary, prevailing by a nose, but was disqualified and placed second after the stewards conducted a lengthy review of the videotape. They ruled that Royally Chosen and jockey Alex Solis, who was whipping his mount left-handed, came out and bumped Ema Bovary in the final yards of the 6-½ furlong race. The final time was 1:14.89 on a fast track.
Ema Bovary, ridden by Roberto Gonzalez at 120 pounds, paid $4.40, $2.60 and $2.60 as the betting favorite. It was the sixth straight victory for the 4-year-old Chilean filly and her second straight in Southern California. The streak includes two stakes wins at Emerald Downs near Seattle and a stakes win at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif.
Larry Ross trains Ema Bovary for Rick Beal and Lana Ramsey of Seattle.
Royally Chosen, who gamely turned back three challengers during the race, carried 119 pounds and returned $3 and $3 for place and show. Sparkling Ava, a 70-1 long shot ridden by Matt Garcia at 113 pounds, rallied to finish third and paid $8.20 for show.
Spring Meadow, Lady George, Just Bill Me, Miss Bridget Jones and Nicole's Pursuit completed the order of finish. Quiet Delight was scratched earlier in the day.
Ema Bovary swung four wide into the stretch and tackled Royally Chosen as pacesetting Spring Meadow began to fade. The two fillies hooked up in a strong battle to the finish and Ema Bovary appeared to have the race won, putting a head in front at the 16th pole.
Royally Chosen wasn't finished, however, and came back on to nail Ema Bovary by a nose. Gonzalez immediately lodged an objection against the winner."When I came up to him and I saw he (Solis) switched sticks I got about a neck in front of him right before we got to the 16th pole and when he switched sticks to his left hand, his horse started coming out and coming out," Gonzalez said. "I kept my filly straight in the same spot (path)."Solis disagreed."I came out next to him but if you see his (Gonzalez's) body, it's shifting to the inside so that means he's going to lean into me. I think I came out next to him but never fouled him."
Ross said Ema Bovary would be pointed to the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita on Jan. 24 The filly has won nine of 14 starts overall with earnings of $199,862.(Chart, Equibase)