After her dominating win in the El Encino Stakes (gr. II) in January, Life Is Sweet stands out among nine 4-year-old fillies entered for the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 15.
Trained by John Shirreffs, Pam and Martin Wygod's homebred daughter of Storm Cat is the 123-pound highweight in her second start on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride racing surface. She attempts to become the 12th El Encino victor to also win the 1 1/8-mile La Canada.
Formerly trained by Bill Mott, Life Is Sweet was stunning in the El Encino with her 1:41.30 clocking for 1 1/16 miles. Rallying from ninth under Garrett Gomez, the bay filly tallied by 2 1/2 lengths over dual grade I winner Country Star. She won twice in seven starts at six different tracks as a 3-year-old.
Gomez will be aboard once again while breaking from the far outside post. Life Is Sweet has earnings of $240,810 from a 3-2-0 record in eight starts. She worked four furlongs on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track Feb. 10 in a bullet :47 1/5.
Bsharpsonata is a two-time grade II winner last year at Gulfstream Park who was beaten by just a neck by Little Belle in Keeneland's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) last April. The Pulpit filly tuned up for this one with a close third-place finish behind the champion filly Indian Blessing and La Canada rival Ginger Pop in the seven-furlong La Brea (gr. I) Dec. 27.
Rafael Bejarano retains the mount on Bsharpsonata, who is also entered in the Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 14. They drew the inside post.
A winner of seven of 14 starts and $562,010 for Cloverleaf Farm II, Bsharpsonata won the Forward Gal and Davona Dale in back-to-back efforts at Gulfstream, part of a four-race winning streak for trainer Todd Pletcher last year.
Magical Fantasy won just once in six tries last year following her transfer from England early last year by David Bienstock and partners, but that victory came in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. I) by two lengths at odds of 42-1. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Diesis is coming out of four successive grade I grass stakes, most recently finishing fourth in Hollywood Park's Matriarch Nov. 30 in her first try against older fillies and mares.
Alex Solis rides Magical Fantasy, who raced on synthetic tracks four times as a maiden in England with a win and two runner-up finishes. Now trained by Paddy Gallagher, Magical Fantasy shows career earnings of $274,431 from a 2-3-0 mark in 11 starts.
Gallagher also saddles Miss Singhsix, who was third behind Life Is Sweet in the El Encino. Owned by Team Valor International and partners, the Irish-bred Miss Singhsix is seeking her first stakes win.
Ginger Pop, well-backed while finishing fourth in the El Encino in spite of breaking from the extreme outside post, gets a better spot this time in the six hole.
“It shouldn’t be a factor,” trainer Dan Hendricks said of Ginger Pop’s position. “She’s pretty handy and can place herself anywhere she needs to be.”
Accopela Choir, Modification, Spring Style, and Taste's Sis complete the lineup.
$200,00 La Canada Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:07 p.m.), 4-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Bsharpsonata (FL), 120, Rafael Bejarano
2. Miss Singhsix (IRE), 116, Joel Rosario
3. Accopela Choir (KY), 116, Martin Garcia
4. Magical Fantasy (KY), 120, Alex O. Solis
5. Taste's Sis (KY), 116, Alonso Quinonez
6. Ginger Pop (KY), 116, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
7. Spring Style (IRE), 116, Tyler Baze
8. Modification (KY), 116, Joseph Talamo
9. Life Is Sweet (KY), 123, Garrett K. Gomez