|California (CA) Saturday, February 8, 2020 — 2:00:00 PM EST | Race ID : 2354306|
|The Santa Marina Handicap|
|Grade I / Group 1*CPU – Purse : $750,000|
|Restricted to 4 Year Olds and Older, Fillies and Mares Only|
|8.5 Furlongs | ~1700 Meters | One Mile and One Sixteenths||Fast Dirt|
It is time that I get back in the loop after being unable to preview any races the past couple of weeks. But I am here for what should be a fantastic race as fourteen of the finest four year old and older fillies take to the track in the 8.5 furlong G1, The Santa Marina Handicap in sunny California. The sun will shine and the track will be listed as Fast Dirt come post time. This race will also headline the top two finishers from the G1, Breeders’ Bowl Distaff who will try to remain competitive and hold off the other well decorated and formidable contenders in this field. The owners are now making last minute preparations for their horses over at the barns. The odds makers have set their morning line and the post positions have been drawn. Let us now take a quick preview of this field of fourteen fillies and mares that will undoubtedly make this one of the most exciting races this weekend.
Note: I am more than halfway through writing my preview and just noticed I have a horse in this race. I will be expecting the omen of bad luck.
Post Position: 1
Horse/Odds: Take The Moon LV 6/1
Sire: Take Charge Indy
Jockey: L Radzinski
This 5 year old Bay Mare will find herself breaking from the inside post. Last season she never broke from this gate and as a late closer I do not see much advantage for her getting this post position draw. She is the defending champion here in The Santa Marina Handicap of which she handily won last year by two lengths. This EOY badge holder is coming off a nice win here in California when she last ran going 9 furlongs on 11/02/2019 in the Breeders’ Bowl Distaff. She closed in familiar style and best the field by two lengths at the wire. Definitely a horse to watch in this field as she comes to the track for her first race of the 2020 season. She will have jockey, L Radzinki from Washington coming in to take the trip with her. They paired up successfully last year in this race together and are seeking a repeat performance. They will be headed to their gate representing the Only Stayers residency.
Post Position: 2
Horse/Odds: The Smoke Ride 6/1
Sire: Candy Ride
Jockey: D Givins
This nice looking 5 year old Chestnut Mare will go off as one of the three co-favorites this field. She had nine starts in 2019 and only missed the boards once. She has thus far failed to pick up a Graded win and she will definitely be looking to change that come Saturday. She last ran on 11/03/2019 in Kentucky going a distance of 8 furlongs in the G2, The Cool Hand Luke. She was the pace setter and front runner in that race, but got caught late. She finished second in that race and was 1 ½ lengths off at the wire. She will get the services of jockey, D Givins from Kentucky to take to the irons who is a first time jockey for this mare. He is a seasoned jockey and they should adapt well together. They will be heading out at post time to represent the GR Simsters residency.
Post Position: 3
Horse/Odds: Seeking Her Cause 18/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (GIANT’S CAUSEWAY x A.P. INDY x SEEKING THE GOLD)
Jockey: T Ace
This four year old beauty is a Brown Filly that is a scratch bred. She went on a five race winning streak last season and in her efforts picked up two Graded wins and two second place Graded finishes. Her last race came on 11/02/2019 here in California going 9 furlongs in the G1, Breeders’ Bowl Distaff of which she was the bridesmaid coming in second. She lead the field in that race but was unable to hold off the late closing Take The Moon LV. She will get her shot at revenge on Saturday when again these two meet up. The odds on this horse say to Tip her in the Tip A Horse this week and in short order someone already has. This mare will have jockey, T Ace from out of Texas in the saddle with her again. This is the same jockey that rode her in her last outing, the Breeders’ Bowl Distaff. This formidable pairing will be heading to their gate representing the Empire State Racing residency.
Post Position: 4
Horse/Odds: Spray N Walk Away 12/1
Sire: Lemon Drop Kid
Jockey: N Lawton
This five year old Bay Mare had ten starts in 2019 and ended the season with her only trip to the winners circle which was in a Listed Stakes race in Idaho. She traveled 9 furlongs in the Walther War Dirt Mare Special where she hit the gas after the third call to rally home for a win by 2 ½ lengths. She will get first time jockey, N Lawton flying in from New York to take to the irons and see if he can find a path for this mare to the winners circle again. She will be taking a big jump in Class after her last outing to again face the challenge of Graded company. They will be heading out at post time to represent the New Zealand Racing Club.
Post Position: 5
Horse/Odds: Day At Delmar 8/1
Jockey: MJ Kelly
This 5 year old Light Grey Mare found a nice ending to the 2019 season when she picked up a second place finish on 09/28/2019 in New York in the 9 furlong G1, The Great Dame. She came back to the track on 12/13/2019 in Illinois in a 9 furlong Listed Stakes, Ghouls Gold Dirt Mare Route. She went gate to wire in that race to hold on for a 1 ¾ length win. She will step back up in Class for this race with jockey, MJ Kelly from Delaware who will take this trip with her. This mare has shown she can put up some good speed ratings in the past and her jockey will be bringing his bag of tricks to see if he can pull some more good numbers out of this mare that likes to be at or near the front of the field in her best outings. They will be going out to their post to represent the Blazing Saddles residency.
Post Position: 6
Horse/Odds: Dance On The Nile 7/1
Sire: Pioneerof The Nile
Jockey: B Scott
This six year old Brown Mare will be the matriarch in this field of starters. She had eight starts in 2019 and found the boards in half of those races. Her only win last season came in January in an Owner Restricted, Listed Stakes, The ESR Flower Power Stakes. She closed nicely in that race to pick up a win by 2 ½ lengths. She ended her 2019 season starting in Florida at 8.5 furlongs in the G3, The Exit Stage Left Stakes. She made a closing attempt and was making up ground, but it was not enough that day and she crossed the wire in sixth place and was over 4 lengths back when she crossed the wire. Her owner has contracted the services of jockey, B Scott from Massachusetts to come and take to the saddle up top for the ride. He may need a stiff whip in his hand and get this mare to fire. She is getting older, but has shown very good speed ratings in her career. She will need to show up with another one of those good speeding ratings against this field of contenders when they head out to the race representing the Empire State Racing residency.
Post Position: 7
Horse/Odds: Moonshot Payout 18/1
Sire: Malibu Moon
Jockey: M Kelly
This four year old Bay Filly is a prior G3 winner. She picked up that win and badge when she made a trip to the winners circle back in May during her 2019 season. She had eight starts in 2019 and picked up two wins. She made two G1 starts last season but both were met with disappointment. She last ran on 12/28/2019 in Pennsylvania in the G1, The Championship Stakes where she crossed the wire in seventh. Jockey, M Kelly from Delaware gets the call to ride up top again for this race and will be seeking to find more fire in the legs of this mare. They will be heading to their gate on Saturday representing the Blazing Saddles residency.
Post Position: 8
Horse/Odds: Yallcomebacksaloon 6/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (BERNARDINI x STORM CAT x ALYDAR)
Jockey: M Jolly
This five year old Bay Mare made seven starts during the 2019 season and only missed the boards twice. She picked up four wins last season and earned her G2 badge in the process when she ran in October in the Dubai at a distance of 8 furlongs in the G2, Good Times Handicap. She has made one start this 2020 season and that was in Kentucky on 01/01/2020 in a Listed Stakes, the Gods Fury Dirt Mare Mile. She took control after the third call and then hit the gas pedal as she lead the field to the wire and picked up the win by 2 lengths. The owner has put in the call to jockey, M Jolly from Vermont to take the ride with his horse. This mare likes running just off the lead and I am sure that is where the jockey will attempt to place her in this race. They will be headed out a post time to represent The Minnesota Testbarn Residency.
Post Position: 9
Horse/Odds: A Special Cause 8/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (GIANT’S CAUSEWAY x UNBRIDLED x NUREYEV)
Jockey: M Clooch
This five year old Bay Mare had a busy 2019 season. She made nine starts and got up for a nice G1 win back in September on an off track in New York. She traveled 8.5 furlongs in the G1, Superfilly Handicap and went gate to wire to hold on for the win by a head. Jockey, M Clooch from Nebraska rode this mare in that race and once again gets the call to take to the irons and ride with her again. This horse’s last trip to the track came on 12/21/2019 in Florida going 8.5 furlongs in the G3, The Exit Stage Left stakes. She held on to her position and came in second just 1 ¾ lengths off the winner. She will be seeking to pick up another win Saturday when she heads to her gate representing the Empire State Racing residency.
Post Position: 10
Horse/Odds: Farwind 17/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (MEDAGLIA D’ORO x UNBRIDLED’S SONG x DISTORTED HUMOR)
Jockey: C Winter
This four year old Light Grey Filly stepped out on the track nine times in her 2019 season. She found the winners circle to earn her G3 Badge in August in New Jersey. She ran 8.5 furlongs in the G3, The Jersey Oaks of which she ran just off the lead and closed nicely after the third call to pick up an nice win in that race. She also was third back in April of last year in the G1, California Oaks. Her last trip to the track came on 12/28/2019 in Pennsylvania at a distance of 8. 5 furlongs in the G1, The Championship Stakes. She starting falling back after the third call and showed up to the wire with a fourth place finish. She will have jockey, C Winter in the saddle for this race who is a local favorite jockey here in California. They will pair together for the first time as they make their way to the track at post time representing the Northwest Racing Circuit.
Post Position: 11
Horse/Odds: Zen’s Lady Of Gold 8/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (ZENSATIONAL x SEEKING THE GOLD x STORM CAT)
Jockey: A Jolly
This 5 year old Roan Mare made way to the track seven times in 2019 and only missed the boards twice in her attempts. She got two wins on the season and showed up nicely in October in the G1, Three Smokestacks Stakes in Kentucky going a distance of 9 furlongs. She placed second in that race and was closing very well, but failed to get to the wire first for her hard fought effort. She last ran on 11/23/2019 going 9 furlongs in Kentucky in the G2, Jump Town Handicap. She placed third in that race after another nice closing effort. She comes to this race well rested and will have jockey, A Jolly from Louisiana in the saddle to take the ride with her as they seek to put another accolade in the trophy case.
Post Position: 12
Horse/Odds: Venezuela Bella 11/1
Jockey: O A Haack
This 5 year old Light Grey Mare picked up two wins in her 2019 season. One of these came in June when she went 8.5 furlongs in New York in the G1, Steadhemp/Mike Phipps Handicap. She closed from way back and came charging down the stretch to take the wire first and get up by 1 ¼ lengths. She has had some struggles in her last few trips to the track and will be seeking to find her speeds from the 2019 midseason. Jockey, O A Haack from Florida is flying in to ride up top and see if he can bring out the best out of this mare and the fire in her legs to keep her in a contending position in this race. They will be heading out in the post parade to represent the Latinos Del Mundo residency.
Post Position: 13
Horse/Odds: Expect The Blame 24/1
Jockey: K Friar
As stated, I failed to notice that I had this horse in the race. I will try to remain unbiased. This four year old Bay Filly came up with a nice three year old season in 2020. She had eight starts in 2020 missing the boards only one time. In her last race which was on 12/28/2019 in Pennsylvania she traveled 8.5 furlongs in the G1, The Championship Stakes. She was closing nicely coming in second in that race and was 2 ¼ lengths back at the wire. She had jockey, K Friar from Minnesota in the saddle that day and her owner has contracted with him once again to ride up top. He will need to find some extra spring in her step against this field which has more experienced contenders than which she has faced in past races. Someone liked the price on her and already tipped her in the Tip A Horse. Guess I will need to be faster next time. LOL They will be going to their gate representing the Only Stayers residency.
Post Position: 14
Horse/Odds: Barbara Bites Back
Sire: Scratch Bred (MEDAGLIA D’ORO x CAPOTE x FORTY NINER)
Jockey: B F Abman
This four year old Roan Filly started her 2019 season very well picking up two Graded wins and a second. She continued forward to race in all Graded races for the season. But after that wonderful start in 2019 which include a win in the G1, Bluegrass Oaks she began to fall off the pace against her fellow contenders. Her last trip to the track was on 12/15/2019 going 14 furlongs in New York in the G1, The Empire State Stayer. She was never a factor in this race and showed up a very distant thirteenth. She will get a familiar jockey, B F Abman from Kentucky in the saddle to take the trip with her. He will need his bag of tricks and get this filly to fire as she has shown in the past she is capable of doing. She is going off as the longest choice in this field according to the morning line. This horse will be coming out of the far outside gate in this race when she heads to her post representing the Only Stayers residency.
Good luck to all owners and horses!
Skippy’s Watch List
Take The Moon LV: One of the favorites in the morning line and for good reason. Look for her late.
Seeking Her Cause: Runner up in the Breeders’ Bowl Distaff and she gets a good gate draw.
The Smoke Ride: Looks like this race should suit her. She could score well in this race.
Tarton’s Long Shot
Expect The Blame: I did not get to Tip my horse so I will put it as my long shot choice at the betting window on some exotic tickets. If she scores I will be the one surprised. Coming off a good 3 year old season we will see if she can compete against a more experienced field.