Las Virgenes winner Golden Ballet heads Santa Anita Oaks field.

Las Virgenes winner Golden Ballet heads Santa Anita Oaks field.

Associated Press/Benoit Photo

Golden Ballet Tops Santa Anita Oaks Field

From Santa Anita Park
Las Virgenes Stakes winner Golden Ballet heads the field as nine 3-year-old fillies have entered for Saturday's grade I Santa Anita Oaks.

The connections of Golden Ballet are hopeful that history will repeat itself as six of the last seven Las Virgenes champions have gone on to victories in Santa Anita Oaks. And the only one that didn't -- the Bobby Frankel-conditioned Keeper Hill in 1998 -- settled for a win in the Kentucky Oaks.

Trained by Jenine Sahadi, Golden Ballet will break from post No. 3 under regular rider Chris McCarron for the 1 1/16-mile event.

Two Item Limit ran second to Golden Ballet in the Las Virgenes and trainer Steve DiMauro is bringing back the Illinois-bred Twining filly for another shot at the probable favorite.

DiMauro envisions a similar pace scenario as the Las Virgenes in which Golden Ballet set all the fractions en route to a win.

DiMauro was unconcerned about any training time lost to the wet weather. "We probably missed one work due to the rain you've had," he said. "She's not a big filly and that works to our advantage (in keeping her fit)."

Expected to press Golden Ballet on the lead is Bob and Beverly Lewis' Pristine, who is coming off a front-running win just 10 days ago in a 6 1/2-furlong optional claiming affair.

"She's a real talented filly," said Lukas. " We've always had high hopes for her. She ran an excellent race last time."

All runners will carry 117 pounds.

The field for the Santa Anita Oaks, with jockeys: Aswhatilldois, Edgar Arreaga; Collect Call, Laffit Pincay Jr.; Golden Ballet, Chris McCarron; Two Item Limit, Eddie Delahoussaye; Affluent, Gary Stevens; Pristine, Tyler Baze; Flute, Victor Espinoza; Ella's Pal, David Flores, and Glaringray, Iggy Puglisi.