Hoop of Colour wins the Santa Ana Stakes.

Hoop of Colour wins the Santa Ana Stakes.

Benoit Photography

Hoop of Colour Claims Santa Ana Stakes

Since relocating to U.S., Distorted Humor filly is 2-for-2.

Flaxman Holdings' homebred Hoop of Colour captured her second straight victory since moving to Southern California from England with a win in the $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) March 15 at Santa Anita Park.

Five weeks after winning by two lengths in her U.S. debut, going 1 1/4 miles in an allowance optional claiming event on the Santa Anita grass Feb. 5, the 4-year-old Distorted Humor  filly dialed back in distance for the 1 1/8-mile Santa Ana and covered the trip in 1:49.08 on a turf course rated firm.

With Drayden Van Dyke aboard, Hoop of Colour stalked plodding early fractions:25.19 for the quarter-mile, :49.56 for the half, and 1:13.73 for six furlongsin third place behind early leader and stablemate Rusty Slipper.

The Kentucky-bred then pushed forward after the final turn, passing runner-up Three Hearts in deep stretch to win by three-quarters of a length. Longshot Winning Rhythm (41-1) closed from last in the nine-horse field to finish third, a length back.

"I got right behind Rusty Slipper (and) my horse threw her ears up and she was so relaxed," Van Dyke said. "Near the half-mile pole, only two horses were in front of me, so I got out, stayed off Three Hearts' hip and I had clear sailing from there."

Trained by Graham Motion, the filly out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Unbridled mare Surya pushed her record to 4-1-0 from six starts and increased her earnings to $173,751 with her first graded stakes victory.

"She's a really nice filly," Alice Clapham, Motion's assistant, said of Hoop of Colour, a half sister to 2011 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) winner Aruna. "She's shown a lot of talent since she's been here."

The winner paid $26.80, $13.80, and $10 across the board. Three Hearts delivered $10.60 and $7.20, while Winning Rhythm returned $13.20 to show. The $2 exacta paid $171.10 and the $1 trifecta brought in $2,902.60.

Favored Diversy Harbor (5-2), coming off her first graded victory in the Buena Vista (gr. IIT) trailed in seventh through much of the race, but could only rally up to a sixth-place finish.

"There was no pace," Diversy Harbor's jockey, Gary Stevens, said.

French-bred Testa Rossi secured fourth place, followed by Rosalind, Diversy Harbor, Rusty Slipper, Queen of The Sand, and Lady of Gold. Elektrum and Indecise were morning scratches.