Course Specialist Elusive Diva Stands Out in Monrovia

Elusive Diva, unbeaten on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita Park, seeks her fourth win over the unique layout for trainer Mark Glatt in the $100,000 Monrovia Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares Saturday.

A field of 13 is set to run in the about 6 1/2-furlong event. Elusive Diva, who starts from post 3 under Patrick Valenzuela, was assigned top weight of 120 pounds. She'll spot her rivals from four to eight pounds apiece.

The 4-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality was most recently second by a length attempting to win at a mile in the Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) on Nov. 5.

"She's taken a liking to the 6 ½ down the hill and we're all set to go, weather permitting," Glatt said. "She ran on a sloppy or muddy track on a couple of occasions and (has) not given very good efforts. We would probably choose to skip the race on any kind of an 'off' track at all."

One of Steve Knapp's best claims is Guidebook, a 5-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Notebook that the trainer took for $40,000 last August at Del Mar.

After disappointing at even-money in the 1 1/16-mile E.B. Johnston Stakes at Fairplex Park, Guidebook won two in a row on the downhill course.

"She's a nice claim," said Knapp, who captured his first training title at Oak Tree. "She's done very well. We've had a few other nice ones, Icantgoforthat, Wild Buddy and (California Cup Juvenile winner) Brite Maneuvers, but Guidebook ranks right up there."

Guidebook, owned by Howard Roberts Farm, has a 9-2-1 record from 20 starts with earnings of $235,330. She drew post 10 and will be ridden by David Cohen.

$100,000 Monrovia Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 4, 2:04 p.m.), fillies & mares 3 & up, about 6 1/2 furlongs (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight Jockey
1. Chasethegold (KY), 115, Garrett K. Gomez
2. Beneficial Bartok (CA), 116, Corey S. Nakatani
3. Elusive Diva (KY), 120, Patrick A. Valenzuela
4. Royal Liverpool (KY), 112, Javier Santiago
5. Awesome Lady (KY), 114, Tyler Baze
6. Lasika (GB), 113, Felipe F. Martinez
7. Allswellthatnswell (CA), 113, Isaias D. Enriquez
8. Red Top (IRE), 114, David R. Flores
9. Getthepartystarted (WA), 114, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
10. Guidebook (FL), 115, David Cohen
11. Resplendency (KY), 117, Alex O. Solis
12. Dominiques Darling (KY), 112, Martin A. Pedroza
13. Porthcawl (GB), 114, Victor Espinoza