Parranda seems to be enjoying California after her first start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer following a private purchase, coming from off the pace to win the $100,000 Wilshire Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) away on the Santa Anita Park turf April 27.
Rafael Bejarano was aboard the 5-year-old daughter of Lane's End stallion English Channel . She prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths over Moone's My Name while getting the one-mile distance in 1:33.48 over firm ground. Premier Steps and slight 2-1 favorite Theatre Star, both trained by Tom Proctor, were third and fourth respectively in the field of six older fillies and mares.
Parranda came into Hollendorfer's barn from Gulfstream Park, where she won the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf and Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT) this winter for trainer Rodolfo Garcia. She finished a weakening sixth last time out in Gulfstream's Honey Fox (gr. IIT) March 15.
After arriving at Santa Anita earlier this month, the powerfully-built chestnut mare now races for Gillian Campbell, Dan Clark, Hollendorfer, and Greg Skoda.
"She's really blossomed since she got here," said the Hall of Fame trainer. "Some horses don't like the Florida weather and her coat has really brightened here. She's won a lot of races, so we knew she was a good mare. This was a pretty good bunch today and we'll look at the Gamely (gr. I) next at a mile and one eighth."
The $400,000 Gamely is May 26.
Parranda rated kindly while next-to-last on the outside of Premier Steps as Theatre Star and Gary Stevens attempted to take them all the way while clipping off quick quarter-mile splitsof :22.80, :45.98, and 1:09.69. Racing three deep around the far turn, Parranda floated out a bit at the top of the stretch but made up good ground to forge a narrow advantage over Theatre Star near the eighth pole.
She cleared off in the final sixteenth to win handily. Moone's My Name, mid-pack early, angled out in the drive for Victor Espinoza and came home willingly to edge Premier Steps and Mike Smith for second by three-quarters of a length. Theatre Star was half a length farther back in fourth after tiring from the early fractions, with outsiders Journey On and Nickels Wild trailing.
"She broke really good, but those two fillies (Theatre Star and Journey On) were going pretty fast, so I covered my horse up and she was real comfortable with that," said Bejarano of the winner. "I saw the favorite move passing the half mile pole, so I moved then too. I wanted to apply a little pressure going past the three eighths and we stayed clear and she really came running."
Bred in Florida by Kinsman Farm, Parranda is the first starter out of the winning Rahy mare Dynamic Feature, a half sister to multiple grade III winner Sisterly Love. The extended family includes grade I winner and sire Dixie Brass and multiple grade II winner Odyle. Previous owner Lone Stable purchased her as a 2-year-old for $13,000 at the 2011 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April sale.
A five-time winner from 13 starts in 2013, she is now 3-for-4 this season after recording her second win at the grade III level. She has banked $512,655 in her career on an overall mark of 9-2-2 in 22 races. She captured the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf by three lengths Jan. 18, followed by a two-length tally in the 1 1/8-mile Suwannee River Feb. 8.
Under equal weights of 119 pounds, Parranda paid $6.40, $3.40, and $2.40 as the narrow second choice. British-bred Moone's My Name, winner of the American Beauty Stakes last time out for trainer John Sadler, returned $3.80 and $2.80 while part of a $22 exacta. Irish-bred Premier Steps paid $3.