If Good Student is next in a long line of South American imports to find U.S. success for trainer Ron McAnally, the 4-year-old Argentine-bred filly needs to progress when she runs in the closing day $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park. A field of eight fillies and mares were entered in the Las Palmas at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. McAnally, who has made champions of South American females Paseana and Baykoa and boasts a long list of South American stakes winners, thinks Good Student will show marked improvement over her last start, a fourth in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) on Oct. 2. "She was on the pace (in the Yellow Ribbon) and got a little late at the end," McAnally said. "That's not her best running style. She was wiped out in a couple of her races in Argentina." Good Student won three of four races in her native Argentina before coming to the states earlier this year, but has won just once in four American starts. Like most editions of the stake, this year's Las Palmas features fillies and mares from all corners of the globe. Other South American imports in the field include Argentine-bred Miss Loren and Brazilian-bred Lots of Hope. Navaja was bred in New Zealand and Uraib and Hoh Buzzard hail from Ireland. Hoh Buzzard also had her last start in the 1 1/4-mile Yellow Ribbon, finishing sixth. Trainer Ben Cecil has an idea why. "I missed one work with her before the Yellow Ribbon due to the rain, so I expect her to improve," Cecil said. "I think she's fine going a mile and a quarter but it was a lot to ask of her first time back since December of last year. . . I was pretty pleased with the way she ran, considering."
The Oak Tree riding title will likely still be up for grabs on closing day. As many as four jockeys still had a shot at the crown through Thursday. Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Uraib (IRE), 115, Tyler Baze
2. Fencelineneighbor (FL), 114, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
3. Theater R. N. (KY), 113, Rene R. Douglas
4. Good Student (ARG), 114, Mike E. Smith
5. Lots of Hope (BRZ), 113, Corey S. Nakatani
6. Hoh Buzzard (IRE), 115, Kent J. Desormeaux
7. Navaja (NZ), 113, Garrett K. Gomez
8. Miss Loren (ARG), 116, Jon Kenton Court