Tough Tiz's Sis, a grade I winner for trainer Bob Baffert on Santa Anita Park's Cushion Track during the Oak Tree meet last fall, takes on five rivals in the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 9.
The 4-year-old Tiznow filly is the 119-pound highweight for the 1 1/16-mile synthetic surface test. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee Somethinaboutlaura is expected to provide the biggest obstacle in the small line-up of older fillies and mares.
Baffert also entered Tough Tiz's Sis in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at nine furlongs on Feb. 10.
Tough Tiz's Sis won the Lady's Secret (gr. I) by a nose over a second Hollendorfer horse, Hystericalady, during the Oak Tree meet. Since a seventh-place finish in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) three weeks after the Lady's Secret, Tough Tiz's Sis has posted back-to-back runner-up showings in the Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) and the El Encino Stakes (gr. II), the last coming Jan. 13 at Santa Anita.
Owned by Watson and Weitman Performances, the bay filly has a 5-3-2 lifetime record in 14 starts and earnings of $449,872. The Kentucky-bred won four of her 10 starts in 2007. Victor Espinoza, who rode Tough Tiz's Sis in the El Encino and Lady's Secret, has the return engagement.
The millionaire Somethinaboutlaura, weighted at 118, comes into the Santa Maria after a fourth-place finish in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Jan. 26.
The California-bred daughter of Dance Floor, co-owned by Hollendorfer, had won seven of eight starts prior to that effort. The game 6-year-old chestnut mare has won 18 of 32 lifetime and earned $1,086,365. David Flores takes the controls aboard Somethinaboutlaura, a two-time winner of the A Gleam Invitational Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
Dawn After Dawn, third-place finisher in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) on Keeneland's Polytrack last April, ran fourth in her most recent start, the El Encino, for leading trainer John Sadler. Ike and Dawn Thrash own the 4-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Successful Appeal . Dawn After Dawn was also entered in the La Canada.
Sweet Belle, a 5-year-old daughter of Deputy Commander, ran second in the Paseana Stakes last out Jan. 14 for trainer Jose DeLima.
The Brazilian-bred Double Trouble takes a steep step here for trainer Bobby Frankel. The 5-year-old Wild Event mare won a one-mile allowance/optional claiming race on the Santa Anita grass course Dec. 29.
Zardana, fourth beaten by less than a length by Double Trouble in that race, rounds out the field for trainer Ron McAnally. The Brazilian bred will be making her third U.S. start and first graded stakes appearance.
$250,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Dawn After Dawn, 113, Martin Garcia
2. Double Trouble, 115, Rafael Bejarano
3. Sweet Belle, 114, Tyler Baze
4. Tough Tiz's Sis, 119, Victor Espinoza
5. Somethinaboutlaura, 118, David R. Flores
6. Zardana, 114, Alex O. Solis