Artistic Diva wins the Anoakia Stakes

Artistic Diva wins the Anoakia Stakes

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Artistic Diva Speeds to Victory in Anoakia Stakes

Munnings filly led every step of the way and won by 2 1/4 lengths.

Hronis Racing's Artistic Diva put on an impressive display of speed to take the $70,000 Anoakia Stakes Oct. 22 at Santa Anita Park.

After a slow break and a rushed-up trip in her debut win Aug. 24 on the Del Mar grass, the 2-year-old Illinois-bred Munnings  filly shot to the front with ease on the Santa Anita main track Sunday.

With a clear lead nearly every step of the way under jockey Victor Espinoza, Artistic Diva set fractions of :21.72 and :44.98 through a half-mile and finished off the six furlongs in 1:10.84 without any late challenge.

"Today's start was easier than her last race, since she had experience," Espinoza said. "We know that she has a lot of speed out of the gate. ... She always worked excellent on the dirt, and with the way she was working, (trainer) John (Sadler) thought she could handle the dirt as well."

Steph Being Steph made mild gains to pick up second, 2 1/4 lengths behind the winner and 1 1/2 lengths ahead of 3-2 favorite Just a Smidge.

"We knew she could handle (dirt)," Sadler said. "We ran her on grass first time out at Del Mar because I had so many 2-year-old fillies, I had to separate them. How's that for honesty?"

Bred by Asiel Stable, out of the Mizzen Mast  mare Diva N Disguise, Artistic Diva was a $425,000 purchase by Lane's End Bloodstock out of the Ocala Breeders' Sale spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.

"She has so much speed that I just leave her alone—just let her go," Espinoza said. "I want her to get a little slower the first half-mile, and then after that, she can go. She can rate, and she shows that in the morning as well. Over time I think she'll settle and the good thing about her is that we know she can run on turf and the dirt."