Star Parade goes for repeat in Sunday's Santa Maria.

Star Parade goes for repeat in Sunday's Santa Maria.


Vienna Hopes There's No Rain on His Parade

Multiple grade I winner Star Parade will attempt to repeat last year's victory in the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Sunday, but she figures to be severely tested in her first start since August.

The 10-horse field for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles includes stakes winners Hollywood Story, Miss Loren, Personal Legend, and Musical Chimes.

Star Parade, owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Darrell Vienna, is set to go from the extreme outside post with Victor Espinoza aboard, the same connections she won the Santa Maria for last year.

Vienna is concerned about the heavy rain that hit Santa Anita Friday.

"I don't know how this weather will affect her but she's been training very well when the ground's been good so we'll see how it goes," said Vienna.

The 6-year-old Argentine-bred mare shares top weight of 118 pounds with Musical Chimes, while Miss Loren and Hollywood Story each received one pound less in what shapes up as a contentious race.

Vienna has enjoyed considerable success importing horses from South America, but probably none have been better than Star Parade, who likes to be on the lead.

Star Parade sports a 6-5-2 record in 18 starts for Tanaka with earnings of $659,782. She finished fourth in her last start, the Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar, as the 9-5 favorite Aug. 8.

In addition to last year's Santa Maria, Star Parade also registered a convincing 3 1/2-length win the Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) in July.

French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) winner Musical Chimes, making her 2005 debut on dirt, enjoyed an outstanding 4-year-old season, winning both the John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar in July and the Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita against males in October.

The 7-year-old Argentine-bred Miss Loren tuned up for the Santa Maria with a victory as the odds-on choice in the Paseana Handicap at Santa Anita Jan. 14. She upset Star Parade in the Hirsch at odds of 34-1.

Hollywood Story, who won the 2003 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I), ended a victory drought of nearly a year when she captured the Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) – also at Hollywood Park – in mid-December.

Personal Legend brings back-to-back stakes wins into the Santa Maria for trainer Bobby Frankel, who employs Jerry Bailey to ride Sunday. She won the Stage Door Betty in her latest at Calder Race Course Jan. 1.

$250,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I, 4:08 p.m. PST), fillies & mares 4 & up, 1 1/16 miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Festival (JPN), 113, Danny Sorenson
2. Miss Loren (ARG), 117, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
3. Stormica (KY), 113, Michael C. Baze
4. Born to Dance (MI), 112, Jon K. Court
5. Good Student (ARG), 114, Tyler Baze
6. Musical Chimes (KY), 118, Edgar S. Prado
7. Hollywood Story (KY), 117, Patrick A. Valenzuela
8. Petionville Indeed (KY), 112, Tony Farina
9. Personal Legend (KY), 116, Jerry D. Bailey
10. Star Parade (ARG), 118, Victor Espinoza