Even-money choice Cambina found room along the inside and closed with authority in the final furlong to win the $150,000 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) for her third consecutive win on the Santa Anita turf April 9 (VIDEO).
The Irish-bred daughter of Hawk Wing rallied from the back to collar front-running Wave of Applause near mid-stretch and outfought Whisper Louise, closing on the far outside, for a three-quarters of a length victory.
With Garrett Gomez aboard, Cambina tallied by one length in a final time of 1:47.28 over firm ground in the 1 1/8-mile test of 3-year-old fillies.
Jeff Bonde trains Cambina for owners Anthony Bilich, Jason Cline, George Schmitt, and others.
"She came to run today," Bonde said. "It's all good. Garrett Gomez gave her a Hall of Fame ride."
The chestnut filly began her career in Ireland and has won three of four starts since she began competing in Southern California this winter.
"She's a typical European filly," Bonde said. "She wants to sit and wait and then make a run."
Bonde believes Cambina can handle going as far as 10 furlongs.
"There are lots of nice stakes races coming up this summer," he said, "and I'm sure she'll show up at Hollywood Park in some of those bigger ones."
Carradale Ltd. bred Cambina, who is out of the Irish mare Await (by Peintre Celebre).
British-bred Wave of Applause showed plenty of early foot for jockey Mike Smith, comfortably leading a strung out field down the stretch the first time and expanding that advantage to as much as four lengths on the backstretch while clicking off quarter-mile splits of :22.58, :46, and 1:10.23. Wallstreeter and a couple of others were in pursuit.
The lead dwindled rounding the final bend but Wave of Applause clung to the front well into the stretch as Cambina advanced from eighth along the inside for Gomez. Approaching mid-stretch, Gomez angled Cambina out a bit between rivals as Whisper Louise and So Belle also charged home.
After getting the lead, Cambina had more to give in the final furlong, turning back Irish-bred Whisper Louise.
"I expected things to start falling apart up front a little sooner than they did," Gomez said.
"She's not a very big horse and she's not much to look at," Gomez added. "She reminds me of Megahertz. She's got a lot more to prove to catch Megahertz but she's on the right start."
Whisper Louise, racing at the back of the pack along with Cambina to the far turn, made up much ground for Victor Espinoza in her first United States start for trainer Jim Cassidy but came up a little short. She finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of the British-bred So Belle, who also displayed a good late turn of foot with Rafael Bejarano aboard.
Cambina won the China Doll stakes at one mile in her most recent prior start on the Santa Anita grass by three-quarters of a length as the favorite March 13. She also won the 6 1/2- furlong La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 21 after finishing sixth in her U.S. debut in the Sweet Life Stakes a month earlier.
She won two of five races in her native country and has compiled a career mark of 5-1-0 in nine starts. She has banked $240,426 after earning $90,000 for the Providencia triumph.
With the Providencia field under equal weights of 118 pounds, Cambina paid $4.20, $3, and $2.60. Whisper Louise returned $6.80 and $4.80 in an encouraging American debut. The exacta was worth $30.80. So Belle, a fast-closing runner-up in her American debut March 4 for trainer Ben Cecil, paid $3.80 to show.