A dozen older fillies and mares take a shot at grade I glory in a deeply contentious renewal of the $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 14.
Chilean-bred Cocoa Beach, runner-up to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) last out, makes her return to the track to face a loaded field of nine fillies and mares in the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) Nov. 30 on the Hollywood Park turf.
Dreaming of Anna heads a tough field of eight fillies and mares for Friday's First Lady Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Roshani is one of only three graded stakes winners produced by crossing a sire from the Nijinsky II line with daughters of Deputy Minister. Clearly, Roshani inherited the best from the paternal and maternal sides of her pedigree. The daughter of Fantastic Light was sold for $135,000 as a racing/broodmare prospect at the 2007 Keeneland January mixed sale. She has now earned $320,550.
Ben McElroy's Roshani, the 6-5 favorite in a five-horse field, held off Lady Digby to win the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half-length at Pimlico.
Grade II winner Valbenny, one of the leading turf fillies on the West Coast last season, returns from an absence of more than eight months while making her first start for trainer Michael Matz in the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Pimlico lawn May 17.
Virginia Kraft Payson homebred Rutherienne rallied from off the pace under Garrett Gomez, split horses turning for home and took the lead in deep stretch to win by a neck in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) April 12 on the Keeneland turf.
A long wait for the spring thaw and the return of top-level turf racing to Kentucky helped produce an extraordinarily tough group of 10 older fillies and mares for the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland April 12. Grade I winners Precious Kitten, Rutherienne, and Bit of Whimsy and the last two Canadian Horse of the Year winners, Arravale and Sealy Hill, account for half of the field.
In a race where the the likely top three betting choices were scratched, Patricia Generazio's Pure Disco won the $100,000 Revidere Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion Oct. 25 at Monmouth Park.
Humoristic, the longest shot on the board in the $150,000 Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Meadowlands turf the night of Sept. 28, closed best of all to upset odds-on favorite Roshani and Pommes Frites in an eventful run.
Roshani has done very little wrong in five starts this year, winning four times, while taking money in every effort. In the $150,000 Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sept. 28 at Meadowlands, the 4-year-old daughter of Fantastic Light-Sahibah will face five challengers, three that she beat handily last month. It all could add up to another victory and a soft prep for the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr.IT) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
Entering the Aug. 5 $150,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT), Roshani had the race's most impressive resume. Once jockey Garrett Gomez put the 4-year-old filly in perfect striking position, the rest of the field had no chance.
Stonerside Stable's favored Karen's Caper roared to the lead mid-stretch under Brice Blanc and raced to the wire in track record time as she captured the $150,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Monmouth Park turf Saturday.
The Bobby Frankel-trained Karen's Caper will be a short price in the $150,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the turf Saturday, Monmouth Park's first graded stakes race of the season.
Precious Kitten, coming off a second-place finish in the April 14 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland, will face down A True Pussycat when a field of 11 fillies and mares goes postward for Saturday's 1/16-mile Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard.
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