Las Virgenes Stakes winner Golden Ballet heads the field as nine 3-year-old fillies have entered for Saturday's grade I Santa Anita Oaks. The connections of Golden Ballet are hopeful that history will repeat itself as six of the last seven Las Virgenes champions have gone on to victories in Santa Anita Oaks. And the only one that didn't -- the Bobby Frankel-conditioned Keeper Hill in 1998 -- settled for a win in the Kentucky Oaks.
Her name conjures up images of grace and wealth, elegance blended with strength. That glistening chestnut coat gets oohs and ahhs every time she leaves the comforts of the Jenine Sahadi stable. Her snow-white blaze puts an exclamation point on every stride, the power of which hits you like a Mack truck. Such is the wonder of Golden Ballet. But don't let her image deceive you. She's no monster. She just runs like one. She's no tank, either. She's only built like one.
Golden Ballet continued her dominance of Southern California's 3-year-old filly division Saturday with a 2 1/2-length victory over Two Item Limit in the $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Ridden by Chris McCarron at high weight of 122 pounds, Golden Ballet ran one mile in 1:36.89 on a fast main track and returned $2.80, $2.60 and $2.10. It was the fourth straight victory for Golden Ballet –- all in stakes races –- and her first win in a grade I event. Jenine Sahadi trains the winner for Team Valor and Heiligbrodt Racing Stables.
Golden Ballet made a sparkling return with a seven-length victory in the grade II, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. Golden Ballet, racing for the first time since June, ran seven furlongs in 1:22 1/5 and paid $4.20, $3 and $3. Chris McCarron was up at 123 pounds for Team Valor and Heiligbrodt Racing Stables.
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