Trained by Christophe Clement, Society Hostess was assigned high weight of 120 pounds among 10 older fillies and mares entered for the about 6 1/2-furlong test. The Monrovia shares top billing with the $100,000 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) for sprinters at Santa Anita Jan. 1.
In her only start since last year's Monrovia Society Hostess, the soon-to-be 6-year-old mare by Seeking the Gold ran fourth as the 3-2 favorite in Belmont Park’s Extra Heat Handicap on the turf Oct. 14.
When Society Hostess won last year’s Monrovia, she rallied from last in a field of 12 under Garrett Gomez, the nation’s leading rider. Jose Valdivia Jr. takes over in the saddle this time on the Moyglare Stud Farm homebred. Gomez assumes the call aboard Audacious Chloe for trainer Todd Pletcher, the nation’s leader in 2007.
With earnings of $372,732 from an 8-2-2 record in 17 races, Society Hostess is the most accomplished of the Monrovia entrants.
Audacious Chloe, assigned 117 pounds, is the second high weight. The 4-year-old More Than Ready filly has earned $268,893 for Team Valor International and Never Tell Farm from a 5-2-1 record in 11 career starts. She shortens up after fading to ninth in the Valley View (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland lawn in her last start Oct. 19. She had a three-race winning streak earlier in 2007 for Pletcher.
Good Mood, winner of the Regret (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs in June, shortens up as well for trainer Eric Guillot following her ninth-place showing in the nine-furlong Queen Elizabeth Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland Oct. 13. The Irish-bred Good Mood began her career in France as a 2-year-old in 2006.
Victory Spy, Shriek, and Macadamia each come into the Monrovia following allowance wins in their last start.
$100,000 Monrovia Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:07 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Ms. Wonder Woman (FL), 113, Jon K. Court
2. Victory Spy (KY), 114, Tyler Baze
3. Macadamia (KY), 113, Julien R. Leparoux
4. Society Hostess (KY), 120, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
5. Anamanor (AUS), 114, Alex O. Solis
6. Audacious Chloe (KY), 117, Garrett K. Gomez
7. Alexandra Rose (SAF), 115, Rafael Bejarano
8. Good Mood (IRE), 115, Michael C. Baze
9. Shriek (KY), 112, Richard Migliore
10. Strong Faith (KY), 116, Martin Garcia