After handily defeating a small field in the Moccasin Stakes in November, Made to Love Her steps up for the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 15.
Made to Love Her drew the rail for the 6 1/2-furlong Santa Ynez, in which she will face five other up-and-coming 3-year-old fillies. The race is the fourth on the card with a 2:03 p.m. PST starting time.
Trained by James Kasparoff for Copper Penny Stables, Made to Love Her brings a two-race winning streak into the Santa Ynez. A $30,000 Ocala buy last March, the daughter of Stevie Wonderboy has finished worse than third just once in six races. That came in a fifth-place effort in Del Mar's Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) in her second start last August.
Made to Love Her broke her maiden at Santa Anita by a neck at 5 1/2 furlongs in her fifth start Oct. 23. Her next race came a month later on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track in the seven-furlong Moccasin. On a cold and rainy day, the chestnut filly rallied from third on the turn in the field of five to grab the lead a furlong from home. She drew out nicely to a four-length victory.
Rafael Bejarano, who has been aboard Made to Love Her for her past three starts, retains the mount. Made to Love Her worked six furlongs at Santa Anita in 1:13 3/5 in her last drill Jan. 8.
The other stakes winner in the field is Candrea, trained by Bob Baffert for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman. Purchased for $340,000 at Ocala in March, Candrea easily won Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at Fairplex Park in September. She followed that with a strong second by a half-length to Weemissfrankie in Santa Anita's Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I).
But her two starts since, both in route races, have been disappointing. The Trippi filly gave way early and finished 11th of 14 in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Nov. 4. Two weeks later, as the favorite in the one-mile Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III), she ran a similar race, fading after stalking the pace and being eased to a ninth-place finish.
Baffert also entered Lady Hokulea, a daughter of Roman Ruler who ran last in the Moccasin in her second start after dueling for the lead for a half-mile.
The Baffert duo figure to be pace factors once again along with Reneesgotzip, who tallied a front-running maiden score by 2 1/4 lengths in her only start Dec. 18 at Hollywood. She earned a dazzling Beyer speed figure of 98 while hand-ridden to victory by Corey Nakatani, who will be aboard once again. Peter Miller trains the City Zip lass for the Lanni Family Trust, which paid $45,000 for her at auction.
Rowdy Gal is undefeated in two starts on Hollywood's Cushion Track for trainer John Sadler and the Pure Prize filly makes her first start on dirt. Joel Rosario is once again aboard for owner Marsha Naify.
J. Kirk and Judy Robison's Painted Woman has won two of four starts for trainer Steve Asmussen, all on synthetic tracks. She makes her first start since running fourth in the Glorious Song Stakes at Woodbine Nov. 13.
Also on the program is the $75,000 Pasaena Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. Bayaoka Handicap (gr. II) winner Ellafitz is one of three that will carry top weight of 121 pounds in a field of seven. Briecat, a restricted stakes winner on the turf at Hollywood last month, and grade II winner Vision in Gold, returning off a 10-month layoff, are the others.
$150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II, Race 4, 2:03 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 6 1/2 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Made to Love Her (FL), R Bejarano, J M Kasparoff
2. Reneesgotzip (KY), C S Nakatani, P Miller
3. Rowdy Gal (KY), J Rosario, J W Sadler
4. Painted Woman (KY), M E Smith, S M Asmussen
5. Lady Hokulea (KY), J Talamo, B Baffert
6. Candrea (FL), M Garcia, B Baffert
All carry 118 pounds.