AWAY IN KENTUCKY, MANDELLA SENDS OUT THREE IN AUTUMN MEET CLOSING DAY FEATURE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 25, 2015)–Brazilian-bred Baruta got a perfect trip going 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course and went on to solid 1 ¾ length win in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes under Rafael Bejarano. Conditioned by Richard Mandella, the 6-year-old mare got the distance in 1:12.96 as she registered her first graded stakes win for owner/breeder Rio Dois Irmaos, LLC.
Breaking from post positon six in a field of eight fillies and mares three and up, Baruta sat a close third down the hill behind pacesetter Amaranth, swung five-wide at the top of the lane and overhauled runner-up Velvet Mesquite a furlong from home.
“I knew Amaranth and Velvet Mesquite were going to be the speed,” said Bejarano, who nailed down his 23rd Southern California riding title by leading all jockeys as the Autumn Meet draws to a close later today. “I figured I would get a good break, get my position and she showed me a big kick after we crossed the dirt.
“I would say every year, meet by meet, I work really hard and since my agent (Joe Ferrer) retired, I got a new agent, Tora Yamaguchi, and I’m really happy with him. He does a great job and the good thing about him is that he’s very humble. He works every day and he doesn’t give up.”
One of three Mandella trainees, Baruta was off at 9-2 and paid $11.60, $6.20 and $4.40.
By the Sadler’s Wells stallion Crimson Tide, Baruta got her sixth win from 21 lifetime starts and with the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $313,558.
“We’re happy with how she ran,” said Alberto Figueiredo, racing manager for Rio Dois Irmaos, LLC. “Richard (Mandella, who is attending to Beholder as she prepares for the next Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland) has done the job and the mare had racing on her mind. She settled nicely today and she loves to come back fresh, so that was good. This was her last race. She’s going to Kentucky to be bred but we have not finalized plans yet.”
Velvet Mesquite, who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux, sat second throughout behind fractions of 21.63, 43.89 and 1:06.58 and finished a half length in front of Theatre Star. Off at 7-1, Velvet Mesquite paid $7.40 and $5.40.
“Today was a dramatic difference,” said Desormeaux. “I’ve only ridden her twice and she didn’t run on the dirt. She really gave me some effort today, probably a lifetime best. I was very pleased with her effort.”
Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Theatre Star settled nicely off the pace and hit her best stride late to finish third, a half length in front of Amaranth. Off at 7-2, Theatre Star paid $3.80 to show.
Santa Anita’s 19-day Autumn Meet drew to a close today. Santa Anita’s main Winter Meet will open the day after Christmas, Dec. 26.