Big-time races for fillies and mares and marathons for grass stayers usually have zero impact in the countdown to the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). There was, nevertheless, a million-dollar ring to both the $200,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 18 and the $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) the day before. By the time the weekend was in the books and the results began to sink in, the only thing anyone knew for sure was there really is nothing for sure.
Tout Charmant earned her second career grade I stakes win by beating Tranquility Lake and Happyanunoit to the wire in a thrilling stretch duel in the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Tout Charmant took the lead on the backstretch and held off 1-2 favorite Perfect Sting to win the $554,000 WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIIT) by 1 1/4 lengths Friday at Keeneland. Under jockey Chris McCarron, Tout Charmant completed the 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.74 while racing over firm turf.
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