Vale Dori continued her dominance of the older female division in Southern California with another her third straight grade 2 score Feb. 11 in the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Each week BloodHorse.com looks forward to the weekend's biggest races. Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes races in North America. This week Tampa Bay Downs gets the spotlight with three graded stakes Saturday.
In the absence of champions Songbird and Stellar Wind, who are still working toward their 2017 debuts, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum's Vale Dori has been scooping up plenty of cash in the older female division in Southern California.
A tough-luck finisher in two graded stakes runs in the past year, Stonestreet Stable's homebred Tara's Tango broke through Feb. 13 in the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Grade I winner Birdatthewire will make her second start of 2016 in the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 13 at Santa Anita Park.
Taris has been a proven sprinter since moving to the barn of Simon Callaghan late in 2014, but shined in her two-turn debut for the trainer in the 1 1/16-mile La Canada Stakes (gr. II).
Two proven graded stakes-winning sprinters will test their skill stretching out to two turns in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 16 at Santa Anita Park.
Scratched from the Clark Handicap (gr. I) because of a quarter-crack, Kaleem Shah's Dortmund will stay home for his next race, the $150,000 Native Diver (gr. III) Nov. 28 at Del Mar.
Grade 1 winner Angela Renee, a full sister to To Honor and Serve, topped Fasig-Tipton's November sale on a $3 million bid from Don Alberto at a session that saw fewer million-dollar lots as median and buybacks rose.
Grade I winner Let Faith Arise, offered in foal to leading sire Tapit, was the first horse to crack the seven-figure barrier at the Fasig-Tipton November sale Nov. 1, selling to $2.1 million to Marie Jones.
Defending champion Untapable will have to defeat a strong field that includes grade I winners Wedding Toast, Got Lucky, Sheer Drama, Curalina, I'm a Chatterbox, My Sweet Addiction, and Stopchargingmaria.
Jockey Julien Leparoux was pleased with the Oct. 22 workout of Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) contender Salama, the Peru-based filly who earned an automatic berth to the race. Yahilwa and Warren's Veneda also worked.
Working on her own, Yahilwa worked five furlongs in :58 2/5 Oct. 15 at Keeneland.
Got Lucky was just that Oct. 4 at Keeneland, finding running room from far back and closing past champion Untapable and longshot Yahilwa in the final furlong to win the the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I).
Spendthrift Farm's Beholder again showed her talent in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 1, toying with the field to win by open lengths without feeling the whip from Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens.
Spendthrift Farm's two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder and Benjamin Warren's upstart 5-year-old Warren's Veneda will take another run at each other in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 1 at Del Mar.
Pamela Ziebarth's homebred grade I winner My Sweet Addiction makes her Kentucky debut against five exiting the La Troienne Stakes (gr. I) in the June 13 Fleur de Lis Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
A class drop proved successful in getting multiple grade I winner Stopchargingmaria back into the winner's circle when the mare lived up to her 3-5 odds to win the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes.
Stopchargingmaria, the Alabama and Coaching Club American Oaks winner, drops into grade III company in Allaire DuPont Distaff (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course May 15.
A stumble out of the gate may have been a blessing in disguise for D. P. Racing's Yahilwa in the $150,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) April 18 at Hawthorne Racecourse.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's versatile Awesome Flower appears the one to beat in the $150,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) from Hawthorne Race Course on April 18.
Warren's Veneda claimed her first graded stakes victory with a wide closing drive to capture the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 14 at Santa Anita Park.
Thegirlinthatsong will look to claim her second straight graded stakes victory in the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 14 at Santa Anita Park.
A visual look at ex-claimers who became grade I winners, including Princequillo, Stymie, Lava Man, and more. A companion to the article in the February 14 edition of The Blood-Horse. view slideshow
Princequillo, Stymie, Lava Man, Maryfield, Palace, Iotapa, Belle Gallantey & More
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Golden Production||Martin D. Wolfson||
|Iotapa||John W. Sadler||
|Let Faith Arise||Jerry Hollendorfer||
|Ondine||Brad H. Cox||
|Stanwyck||John A. Shirreffs||
|Yahilwa||James M. Cassidy||
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|San Luis Rey S. (G2T)||SA||3/25|