A little extra distance could be just what grade I winner Cambina needs when she takes on a well-matched field of older fillies and mares in the $150,000 Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita Park turf March 25.
Cambina was making her first start since the Breeders's Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) in the one-mile Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) Feb. 20 at Santa Anita. Devoid of early speed, she rallied from 10th at mid-stretch to be beaten by 1 1/4 lengths by 8-1 upsetter City to City.
A similar scenario confronts the little 4-year-old Irish-bred filly in the Santa Ana, though last year's American Oaks (gr. IT) winner will have an extra furlong to work with this time. Many of those she faced in the Buena Vista are back for the Santa Ana, which attracted a field of 11
It is the seventh race on a program that includes the San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. IIT), and is expected to go off at 3:36 p.m. PDT.
Garrett Gomez, coming back from a broken heel, has the riding assignment on Cambina. He rode the daughter of Hawk Wing to an eighth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup last November, though they lost by less than three lengths.
City to City, from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn, won the Buena Vista with a nice closing kick by a head over Up In Time. City to City, like Cambina, is a three-time winner on Santa Anita's grass course. The 5-year-old City Zip mare is stuck with the far outside post in the Santa Ana and will be ridden once again by Corey Nakatani.
Also coming out of the Buena Vista is Wild Mia, who finished third while beaten by a half-length, and fourth-place Strawberrydaiquiri, a British import who led at mid-stretch in her first start since last October and weakened late. Chilean-bred Vamo a Galupiar ran a closing sixth as the lukewarm favorite in the Buena Vista, and Irish-bred Andina was eighth.
Class Racing Stable's Bauble Queen, a lightly-raced 4-year-old daughter of Arch , has been freshened since capturing the Robert J. Frankel Stakes (gr. IIT) on New Year’s Day at odds of 3-1 and again will be well-supported.
City to City is the most accomplished contestant in the field with earnings of $503,491 from a 7-5-5 record in 24 starts for Hollendorfer, who co-owns her with William DeBurgh. A winner of three grade II stakes, she seldom runs a non-contending race. City to City will share high weight of 123 pounds with Bauble Queen.
Camelia Rose, a French import, lost by a nose in an allowance race as the even-money favorite at nine furlongs in her U.S. debut March 1, her first start in seven months. “She ran really well first time out,” said trainer Simon Callaghan, who also entered Irish-bred Imperialistic Diva. “She was the best filly in the race, but just got trapped on the rail.”
Callaghan, who trains Camelia Rose for J. Paul Reddam, has re-engaged Joel Rosario to ride the Oratorio filly.
Strawberrydaiquiri competed in England, the United Arab Emirates, and in Canada before making her U.S. debut in the Buena Vista. Trained by Ben Cecil for Fawzi A. Nass, the daughter of Dansili shows earnings of $439,676 from a 6-2-1 record in 17 outings. Mario Gutierrez has gained the mount.
“She definitely needed it,” Cecil said, referring to her Buena Vista effort, her first start since tiring to 10th in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (gr. IT) on a yielding course at Woodbine last Oct. 16.
“I thought she was going to win the Buena Vista turning for home, but she just got tired,” said Cecil, who also entered Andina. “She blew for like an hour after the race, so she should improve."
Neil Drysdale trains Vamo a Galupiar for Robert B. Evans. A group I winner in Chile, the 5-year-old mare is lightly raced with four victories in seven starts. Her three races in this country include a 3 3/4-length win in Santa Anita’s Megahertz Stakes Jan. 21. Mike Smith will be aboard.
$150,000 Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 7, 3:36 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Vamo a Galupiar (CHI), M E Smith, 118, N D Drysdale
2. Cambina (IRE), G K Gomez, 120, J Bonde
3. Hard to Resist (KY), C Sutherland, 118, P Eurton
4. Strawberrydaiquiri (GB), M Gutierrez, 118, B D Cecil
5. Imperialistic Diva (IRE), B Blanc, 118, S Callaghan
6. Camelia Rose (FR), J Rosario, 118, S Callaghan
7. Wild Mia (FL), D R Flores, 118, J M Fanning
8. Hard Seven (KY), E A Maldonado, 118, D L McFarlane
9. Bauble Queen (KY), J Talamo, 123, J E Kruljac
10. Andina (IRE), V Espinoza, 118, B D Cecil
11. City to City (KY), C S Nakatani, 123, J Hollendorfer
Blinkers On: Imperialistic Diva