(from Oak Tree at Santa Anita notes)
Trainer Bobby Frankel seeks his third consecutive win in the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) Saturday at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet when he sends out Megahertz for what is likely her final Southern California race.
Frankel won the last two runnings of the Yellow Ribbon, a 1 1/4-mile turf event for fillies and mares with Light Jig and Tate's Creek. The diminutive but mighty Megahertz, a 6-year-old chestnut mare, has delighted Southern California racing fans for four seasons with her overpowering stretch kick.
Grade I winner Amorama offers the biggest obstacle among the six rivals entered against Megahertz. The Julio Canani-trained Amorama was second to Megahertz's stablemate Intercontinental in Del Mar's Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sept. 3. She won the John C. Mabee (gr. IT) earlier in the Del Mar meet.
The Yellow Ribbon, a major stepping stone to the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), is likely to mark the last race in California for Megahertz. A winner of eight of 12 starts over Santa Anita's grass course, she's expected to begin a breeding career at the end of the season.
If Megahertz, an English-bred daughter of Pivotal, does well in the Yellow Ribbon, the final race of her illustrious career is likely to come in the Filly & Mare Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.
"Megahertz holds a very special place with me," said her regular rider, Alex Solis, who has been aboard in her last four starts. "It's hard to replace a horse that's had a career like that and given us all the thrills she has. She's a great horse with great character and we're going to miss her. She's a little thing, but she doesn't know that. What she lacks in size, she makes up for in heart."
Owned by Michael Bello of Newport Coast, California, Megahertz --who worked four furlongs Wednesday at Hollywood Park in :50 1/5-- has a 13-6-5 record from 32 career starts, with earnings of $1,961,594.
Frankel, speaking via phone from Belmont Park, said he was fully recovered from a dizzy spell he experienced after Leroidesanimeaux romped in the Atto Mile (Can-I) at Woodbine on Sept. 18.
"I'm fine," said Frankel. "I was in the sun, and I just got up too fast and I got dizzy."
Frankel said he plans to remain on the East Coast until after the Breeders' Cup. Then he expects to return to his Hollywood Park headquarters, where assistant Humberto Ascanio has been directing operations in Frankel's absence.
Yellow Ribbon rival Flip Flop worked five furlongs on the main track Tuesday in 1:04.
"It was real easy," trainer Ben Cecil said. "She's not one that you can wait all day to train. She likes to get out early."$500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT, Race 8, 4:22 p.m.), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 1/4 miles (turf)
PP. Horse Jockey
1. Halo Ola (ARG), Rene R. Douglas
2. Smokegetenyoureyes (CA), Javier Santiago
3. Flip Flop (FR), Gary L. Stevens
4. Cold Cold Woman (GB), Kent J. Desormeaux
5. Winendynme (KY), David R. Flores
6. Megahertz (GB), Alex O. Solis
7. Amorama (FR), Martin A. PedrozaEach carries 123 pounds.