Megahertz Seeks Santa Barbara Three-Peat

(from Santa Anita report)
Megahertz, the mighty mare with a dazzling come-from-behind style, seeks to win the $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park Sunday for an unprecedented third consecutive year.

The diminutive 6-year-old English-bred daughter of Pivotal will represent the same connections she has in her first two victories: owner Michael Bello of Newport Coast, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, and jockey Alex Solis. She stands out in a field of seven entered Friday.

"I'm real confident when I ride her," said Solis, who has won on Megahertz the last three times he has ridden her, including the March 20 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT). "I know what to expect and she always gives me 100 percent."

Megahertz carries high weight of 123 pounds in the Santa Barbara for older fillies and mares at 1 ΒΌ miles on turf. Astra (2001 and 2002) is the only horse besides Megahertz to win the 56-year-old race back-to-back.

The chestnut Megahertz drew the No. 1 post, a spot she has not had in at least her last 10 starts. She owns an 11-5-5 record from 29 starts with earnings of $1,571,594.

Her chief competition could come from Moscow Burning, a 5-year-old California-bred mare that was rescued from the claiming ranks two years ago by trainer James Cassidy. She has gone on to become a multiple graded stakes winner with earnings of $832,535 on eight wins from 21 starts, including three wins and two seconds from five starts at Santa Anita.

Hoh Buzzard, winner of the Brown Bess Handicap at Golden Gate on Jan. 30, gets leading rider Pat Valenzuela looking to get a better trip on the pace for trainer Ben Cecil.

$200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT), fillies & mares 4 & up, 1 1/4 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Megahertz, Alex Solis, 123
2. Nadeszhda, Julio Garcia, 114
3. Uraib, Jon Court, 115
4. Ask for the Moon, Rene Douglas, 116
5. Moscow Burning, Mike Smith, 119
6. Hoh Buzzard, Patrick Valenzuela, 116
7. Midwife, Garrett Gomez, 115