Magical Fantasy looks for her fourth consecutive graded stakes win for trainer Paddy Gallagher as the probable favorite in Oak Tree's $300,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Oct. 10.
The 1 1/4-mile turf event attracted eight fillies and mares, including two other grade I winners, Black Mamba and Internallyflawless. The Yellow Ribbon, which goes as the fourth race on the program, is one of four Breeders' Cup Challenge races on the Oak Tree program, with the winner guaranteed a spot in the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) over the same Santa Anita turf course Nov. 6.
Magical Fantasy has won Santa Anita's Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT), Hollywood's Gamely (gr. IT) and Del Mar's John C. Mabee (gr. IT) in succession for Gallagher.
Owned by David Bienstock, Paul Mandabach and Charles Winner, the 4-year-old Diesis filly won the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) last season and became the first filly since Amorama in 2004-05 to complete the Oaks-Mabee double.
She comes into the Yellow Ribbon on a roll, capped by her one-length score in the Mabee at Del Mar on Aug. 16. Her nose victory over Black Mamba in the April 18 Santa Barbara began the streak and serves as her only prior experience over the Santa Anita turf course. Regular jockey Alex Solis rides the chestnut, who breaks from the rail.
Magical Fantasy owns a 5-4-0 mark in 16 starts worth $859,231. She worked six furlongs on turf Oct. 4 in 1:12 3/5
“She seems like a different horse,” Solis remarked after the Mabee. “She seems so full of confidence.”
Trainer John Sadler hopes the third time is the charm for Doubledown Stables' Black Mamba, who has been third in the past two editions of the Yellow Ribbon. Though she is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup, the New Zealand-bred mare can surpass the $1 million milestone in career earnings with a victory.
Black Mamba won the 2008 Mabee. More recently, she captured the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) at Holywood Park June 28. The 6-year-old daughter of Black Minnaloushe is coming off a victory in the CTT/TOC Handicap at Del Mar Aug. 28.
Charles Fipke's fast-developing homebred Internallyflawless surprised in winning the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) for her first stakes victory Aug. 22 and takes on her elders for the first time. The Giant's Causeway filly ran fourth in the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) before winning the 1 1/8-mile Oaks. She is the only 3-year-old in the lineup and gets a three-pound weight break.
Juddmonte Farms' homebredVisit rallied five wide in the Mabee to finish fourth, two lengths behind Magical Fantasy, who also beat her by a neck in the Gamely. The British-bred 4-year-old daughter of Oasis Dream is the only starter in the Yellow Ribbon field to run in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. She finished fourth after leading briefly in the stretch.
Also coming out of the Mabee is the Irish-bred Charming Legacy, who finished fifth. The Ron McAnally-trained 6-year-old missed by a head to Black Mamba in the Beverly Hills prior to that.
The stakes-winning Lemonette ships from Kentucky for trainer Eric Reed and owner Jerry Jamgotchian following a fast-closing runner-up finish in the Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga Sept. 7.
$300,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT, Race 4, 2 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Magical Fantasy (KY), A O Solis, 123, P Gallagher
2. Lemonette (KY), R Bejarano, 123, E R Reed
3. Lemon Chiffon (KY), K Fallon, 123, S McCarthy
4. Black Mamba (NZ), M E Smith, 123, J W Sadler
5. Rosa Grace (GB), J Rosario, 123, B D Cecil
6. Charming Legacy (IRE), J Talamo, 123, R L McAnally
7. Visit (GB), G K Gomez, 123, R J Frankel
8. Internallyflawless (KY), V Espinoza, 120, B Baffert