Megahertz Ready to Roll in Santa Ana
Updated: Sunday, March 20, 2005 2:44 PM
Posted: Friday, March 18, 2005 8:45 PM
Megahertz (blue cap on left) hopes to repeat last year's performance - minus the disqualification - in Sunday's Santa Ana Handicap.
Megahertz, the diminutive 6-year-old chestnut mare with a big kick, may finally have the opportunity to show it Sunday in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf.
Although rains returned to Southern California Friday, officials were hopeful that the 1 1/8-mile event for older fillies and mares would stay on the lawn. If it does, it will be the first graded turf stakes for fillies and mares during the Santa Anita season. Wet weather forced three earlier graded stakes off the turf.
The Bobby Frankel-trained English-bred daughter of Pivotal stands out in the field of seven entered for the Santa Ana. Her 28-race career shows 10 wins, five seconds and five thirds, with earnings of $1,481,104 for owner Michael Bello of Newport Coast.
She will carry high weight of 122 pounds with Alex Solis aboard.
Solis hopes Megahertz, who finished first in last year's Santa Ana but was disqualified to last, is able to handle a soft turf.
"She's a very special horse," Solis said. "She's one of the most unique horses I've probably ever ridden. She's very small but has such determination and she's so athletic. She has a terrific turn of foot. There are not too many horses I've ridden that have that kind of finish.
"She's kind of tricky to ride. She's a horse you don't want to take the lead too early with because she'll start to fool around, so I have to be very aware of what's going on in the race and make sure I don't get the lead too soon."
Katdogawn, who was awarded last year's Santa Ana when Megahertz was taken down, is coming off a third-place finish in a minor stakes for trainer Wally Dollase.
Dollase also starts Stupendous Miss, who won a two-other-than allowance on Feb. 18 in her U.S. debut.
Frankel also has a second starter in the French-bred Barancella, who hasn't run since finishing second to Ticker Tape in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland in October.
Hoh Buzzard has been scratched from three turf races in Southern California when they were taken off the grass by trainer Ben Cecil since winning the Brown Bess Handicap at Golden Gate Fields Jan. 30.
Gary Tanaka's 5-year-old Irish-bred mare should be 100% fit, however.
"I've finally been able to train her," Cecil said. "This is a tough race and it's supposed to rain as well which won't do me any harm because this race will not be taken off the grass. Some of her better races were over soft courses."
Hoh Buzzard has a 6-1-2 record from 16 starts with earnings of $286,839.$150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT), fillies & mares 4 & up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Valentine Dancer (CA), 117, Jon Court
2. Stupendous Miss (KY), 113, Victor Espinoza
3. Megahertz (GB), 122, Alex Solis
4. Katdogawn (GB), 117, Corey Nakatani
5. Belle Ange (FR), 113, Tyler Baze
6. Hoh Buzzard (IRE), 117, Tony Farina
7. Barancella (FR), 116, Patrick Valenzuela
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