Ridden patiently by Alex Solis, heavily favored Magical Fantasy captured her third consecutive grade I event when she overtook Visit mid-stretch and held off the late charge of Black Mamba to win Oak Tree's $300,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) (VIDEO) at Santa Anita Oct. 10.
Magical Fantasy earned an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Nov. 6 at Santa Anita. She completed the 1 1/4-mile event in an excellent time of 1:59.59 over a firm grass course while winning by a half-length.
Visit, with Garrett Gomez aboard, held on for second, with Black Mamba and Mike Smith settling for third.
Paddy Gallagher trains the winning 4-year-old daughter of Diesis for David Bienstock, Paul Mandabach and Charles Winner.
Gallagher said he is pointing Magical Fantasy to the Breeders' Cup.
"We’ll see how she is (after the race), but this is our best chance to have a Breeders’ Cup runner, so I think we’ve got to take our best shot," Gallagher said. "The first three fillies all ran good and were all right there. It was a good horse race and it was nice to come out on the winning end."
Magical Fantasy stalked in sixth while uncovered slightly off the rail for the first six furlongs as
Charming Legacy provided an unchallenged pace through fractions of :24.02, :47.58 and 1:11.98. Visit, who tracked Charming Legacy with Rosa Grace in third, took over leaving the final turn and held a narrow advantage.
But Magical Fantasy, who advanced on the turn outside of the rivals, closed four wide in the stretch to get control late. She fought on from between horses as Black Mamba wound up her reliable late charge from seventh to record her fourth consecutive win overall, all in graded stakes.
"I was very happy with the pace and I was happy to see four horses together up front," Solis said. "Even though they weren’t going that fast, they’re still eyeballing each other and putting pressure on each other.
"I was really impressed with the way she ran today. She keeps getting better and better.”
Juddmonte's Great Britain-bred Visit, along the inside, ran a game race to nose Doubledown Stables' grade I-winning New Zealand mare Black Mamba.
"She traveled beautifully for me," Gomez said of the runner-up. "She just kind of got out kicked to the wire today."
Winner of the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) last year, the 4-year-old Magical Fantasy began her current streak with a nose victory over Black Mamba in the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr.IIT) over 10 furlongs on the Santa Anita turf April 18. She followed that effort with triumphs in Hollywood Park's Gamely (gr. IT), defeating Visit by a neck, and in Del Mar's John C. Mabee (gr. IT), which she captured by one length.
Bred by Rodes S. Parrish and Charles Beach IV in Kentucky, Magical Fantasy is out of the Easy Goer mare Kissing Gate. The Yellow Ribbon victory, worth $180,000, boosted her earnings to $1,039,231. The striking chestnut filly has won six of 17 career starts with four seconds.
Sent off at odds of 6-5, Magical Fantasy paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.10. Visit, who has now lost nine consecutive races in the U.S. since being imported following a third-place finish in the 2008 Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket, retunred $3.80 and $2.80 and completed a $2 exacta woth $15.80. Black Mamba, winner of the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park June 28, was $3 to show.