ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2016) – Birdatthewire heads a competitive field of eight older fillies and mares this Saturday at Santa Anita in the 75th running of the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
A 4-year-old filly by Summer Bird, Birdatthewire will be making her second start for trainer Tom Proctor. Previously trained by east coast based Dale Romans, Birdatthewire shipped west for the Grade I, seven furlong La Brea on opening day, Dec. 26, and was an impressive half-length winner, up late to take the prestigious stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Birdatthewire transferred to Proctor’s stable following the La Brea score and most recently ran in the Jan. 16 Grade II La Canada at the Santa Maria distance under new rider, Drayden Van Dyke to finish second despite being fanned wide throughout the first turn.
“I was completely taken out by Santiago (Gonzalez, on Oscar Party whose rein broke going into the first turn), said Van Dyke immediately after the race. “I didn’t know what was happening. He came flying by me, which made my horse get really rank…I got stuck outside of him, and he was way out there.”
Sometimes deemed difficult due to her quirky running style down the stretch, Birdatthewire will hope for a fast pace to run at and plenty of room out in the middle of the track Saturday. Owned by Forum Racing IV, Birdatthewire, whose last eight races have all been in graded stakes, will be reunited with rider Mike Smith, who was up for the La Brea win. She is 12-4-3-1 overall with $609,090 in earnings.
The complete field for the Grade II Santa Maria, to be run as the 8th race on a nine race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Star Act, Tyler Baze, 120; Gas Total, Flavien Prat, 120; Birdatthewire, Mike Smith, 122; Big Break, Edwin Maldonado, 120; Kyriaki, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Living The Life, Gary Stevens, 120; Yahilwa, Joe Talamo, 120; Tara’s Tango, Martin Garcia, 120.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.