Vamo a Galupiar won the Santa Ana by a half-length on March 25.

Vamo a Galupiar won the Santa Ana by a half-length on March 25.

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Vamo a Galupiar Seeks Double in Santa Barbara

Neil Drysdale's Santa Ana Stakes winner tries 10 furlongs for the first time.

With its 3-year-old stakes series complete, Santa Anita Park turns its attention to the turf for the final weekend of the 2011-12 season. Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale seems well positioned to close out the meet in style.

Drysdale has the likely favorite in the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares April 21 with recent Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT) winner Vamo a Galupiar. In the closing day San Juan Capistrano Handicap (gr. IIT) April 22, he'll send out another favorite, Bourbon Bay.

The Santa Barbara, at 1 1/4 miles, is one of two turf stakes on the Saturday card, along with the San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the hillside turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs. The Santa Barbara, race 9 on the program with a 4:38 p.m. PDT post, drew a field of seven. The San Simeon is race 5.

A Chilean-bred owned by Robert S. Evans, Vamo a Galupiar made a huge run from well off the pace to tally by a half-length in the March 25 Santa Ana over good turf at odds of 7-1. The 5-year-old Proud Citizen mare will be facing many of the same rivals in the Santa Barbara, only fewer of them. She will be attempting the 10-furlong distance for the first time in her career.

A grade I winner in her native country, Vamo a Galupiar will be making her fifth start in the United States and her fourth this year at Santa Anita. The chestnut won the Megahertz Stakes impressively in January, only to disappoint when sixth in the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) a month later. Drysdale switched riders from Joe Talamo and Mike Smith for the 1 1/8-mile Santa Ana and Vamo a Galupiar responded with a top effort. She closed from sixth on the far turn while extremely wide to get up just in time.

Vamo a Galupiar, who has won five of her eight career starts, will carry top weight of 120 pounds while retaining the services of Smith. They'll break from post 5.

Others coming out of the Santa Ana are Hard Seven (third), Camelia Rose (fifth), Cambina (sixth), and Bauble Queen (ninth).

The Irish-bred Cambina, winner of the 10-furlong American Oaks (gr. IT) last summer at Hollywood Park, should appreciate the extra distance in the Santa Barbara. She got unwound late in the Santa Ana and closed much ground to finish 2 1/2 lengths behind Vamo a Galupiar. Trained by Jeff Bonde, Cambina is a lifetime winner of six of 17 races but has lost five straight since capturing the American Oaks. Rafael Bejarano takes over on the 4-year-old daughter of Hawk Wing.

Trained by Simon Callaghan for J. Paul Reddam, Camelia Rose had the lead at mid-stretch of the Santa Ana as the 17-10 favorite but couldn't hold it from the rail and lost by 1 1/4 lengths. That was the second U.S. start for the 4-year-old French-bred daughter of Oratorio, a game second by a nose in a tough allowance race at Santa Anita March 1.

Camelia Rose won two of eight starts in France. She competed in three group races in her native country, finishing fourth in one and fifth in the other two, including the Montjue Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) last May. Joel Rosario retains the mount.

Lightly regarded at 67-1 in the Santa Ana, the Turf Paradise shipper Hard Seven missed by just a half-length while finishing willingly between horses. Dan McFarlane trains the 4-year-old of Rock Hard Ten, runner-up in the Mesa Handicap prior to her latest try for owner John J. Campo III. Edwin Maldonado will guide Hard Seven from the rail.

Bauble Queen was never involved in the Santa Ana, her first start in nearly three months after capturing the Robert J. Frankel Stakes (gr. IIT) Jan. 1 by a half-length. Class Racing Stable's 4-year-old daughter of Arch gets five pounds off her last effort as she attempts to bounce back for trainer Eric Kruljac.

$150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 4:38 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hard Seven (KY), E A Maldonado, 115, D L McFarlane
2. Cambina (IRE), R Bejarano, 119, J Bonde
3. Glowing Spirit (BRZ), V Espinoza, 112, A C Avila
4. Capital Plan (KY), B Blanc, 114, J Hollendorfer
5. Vamo a Galupiar (CHI), M E Smith, 120, N D Drysdale
6. Bauble Queen (KY), J Talamo, 118, J E Kruljac
7. Camelia Rose (FR), J Rosario, 116, S Callaghan