Composure, in rubber match with Elloluv in Santa Anita Oaks.

Composure, in rubber match with Elloluv in Santa Anita Oaks.


Rubber Match for Composure, Elloluv in Santa Anita Oaks

(from track reports)
With one win apiece, Composure and Elloluv continue their blossoming rivalry Saturday in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.

The 1 1/16-mile Oaks is the championship event of the Santa Anita season for sophomore fillies. It will also be the rubber match between the Bob Baffert-trained Composure and the Craig Dollase-trained Elloluv.

A Kentucky bred by Gilded Time, Elloluv struck first, breaking her maiden at 30-1 odds in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) on Dec. 14. Elloluv led gate to wire and won by four lengths over 1-5 favorite Composure in the 1 1/16-mile event.

Elloluv won her subsequent start, the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II), by 2 ½ lengths on Jan. 20 while Composure remained in the barn.

A Kentucky bred by Touch Gold, Composure made her 2003 debut at Santa Anita with a neck victory over Elloluv in the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at one mile on Feb. 9. Composure won despite breaking poorly from the starting gate, spotting the front-running Elloluv a two-length advantage on the backstretch.

"It was a great effort especially considering she gave up three lengths at the break and then I had to alter course with her, so it was a lot for her to overcome," jockey Jerry Bailey said. "I thought she showed great courage to get up and win like that."

Composure, second to Storm Flag Flying in the 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), has three victories and three seconds from seven starts with earnings of $551,300 for Bob and Beverly Lewis of Newport Beach. Ellouv is 3-1-1 from five starts with earnings of $372,700 for J. Paul Reddam of Laguna Beach.

With a field of five entered, Dollase said Elloluv might be able to clear the field early.

"The way it's playing out now, we'll probably see ourselves landing on the lead again," he said. "But we have equal weights this time, and that might have made a difference last time."

Dollase was referring to the Las Virgenes, in which Elloluv carried 122 pounds and Composure carried 120. All starters carry 117 pounds in the Oaks.

"We're sitting on idle," Dollase said. "We're ready.

"She's always acted and trained like a real good filly," Dollase said. "We've never had a knock about her, that's for sure. She goes out there and runs her race. Plus P. Val's (Pat Valenzuela) riding better than ever right now, and with his confidence and the way he's riding, the horses feel it. They run for him."

Rounding out the field are Long Term Wish, upset winner of the restricted Boo La Boo Stakes; Harbor Blues 11 ½-length winner of the Arizona Oaks at Turf Paradise, and Go For Glamour, winner of two straight including an allowance victory at one mile.

$300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr.I), 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 mile
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Composure, Jerry Bailey
2. Long Term Wish, Alex Solis
3. Harbor Blues, Iggy Puglisi
4. Elloluv, Patrick Valenzuela
5. Go For Glamour, Gary Stevens
All starters carry 117 pounds.