ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2014)–Classy Dancingtothestars, a winner of the one mile turf Megahertz Stake two starts back, Ciao Bella Luna, an extra game winner of the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint going 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course Jan. 25, and Tribal Spy, who pressed the pace and was third, beaten a half length by “Ciao,” head a competitive field of seven in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes for older fillies and mares coming down the hill.
Easily the leading money earner in the field with $401,122 to her credit, Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds homebred Dancingtothestars ran an even seventh, beaten 5 ½ lengths, in her most recent start, the Grade II, one mile turf Buena Vista Handicap on Feb. 17. A 6-year-old mare by Good Journey, Dancingtothestars was third in last year’s Irish O’Brien and was second coming down the hill in the Feb. 10, 2013 Wishing Well Stakes.
Conditioned by Doug O’Neill, Dancingtothestars has been ridden in 13 of her last 14 starts by Mario Gutierrez, but will be handled for the first time since Sept., 2012 by Joe Talamo on Saturday. In addition to her Megahertz win, she has been stakes-placed on four different occasions. Her overall mark stands at 21-6-4-4.
Trained by Peter Miller, Ciao Bella Luna pressed the pace to win going away Jan. 25, and was a respectable fifth, beaten four lengths, in the Grade II Monrovia Stakes coming down the hill Jan. 5. Ridden by Florida-based Kent Desormeaux on Jan. 25, the 4-year-old Tribal Rule filly will be handled by Rafael Bejarano in the Irish O’Brien.
Owned by Rockingham Ranch. Ciao Bella Luna has four wins and two seconds from 12 starts with earnings of $262,110.
Miller will also be represented by Could Be Trouble, who was fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths coming down the hill in a second condition allowance Jan. 31–her only try over the unique layout.
A 4-year-old filly by Ministers Wild Cat, Could Be Trouble drew outside and will be reunited with Corey Nakatani, who won two in-a-row on her last year at Hollywood Park. Owned by Altamira Racing Stable, Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel and Cecil Barber, she has four wins and a second from nine starts, with earnings of $129,450.
Trained by Adam Kitchingman, Tribal Spy sat close to the pace in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint Jan. 25 and battled gamely to the wire with Irving Orozco up at odds of 10-1. A hillside allowance winner two starts back on Dec. 29, Tribal Spy has a win, a second and a third from five tries over the course.
A 4-year-old Tribal Rule filly, Tribal Spy has been ridden in her last six races by Orozco, resulting in three wins. Owned by Triple B Farms, Tribal Spy is 13-4-3-1 overall with earnings of $178,610.
Fifth, beaten two lengths by Ciao Bella Luna in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint, Nick Alexander’s homebred Sudden Sunday seeks and upset in her second added money engagement. Trained by Steve Miyadi, the 5-year-old Bertrando mare has bounced between Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields since her last work, going five furlongs in 1:00 at Santa Anita Feb. 24, and a bullet six furlongs in 1:12.40 at Golden Gate March 9. She has three wins from 11 starts and earnings of $101,650.
Claimed out of a nose $40,000 claiming win two starts back, Boller Bomb pressed the pace and was fourth, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in a one mile turf, $50,000 claiming race Feb. 1 and will cut back in distance from three consecutive mile turf routes.
Trained by Kristin Mulhall, Boller Bomb, a 4-year-old filly by Unusual Heat, was a starter allowance winner down the hillside on March 31, 2013 and will try the hill for the third time Saturday. Owned by Arthur L. and Arthur L. Hawkins, Jr., Boller Bomb will try stakes competition for the first time. She is 20-5-2-3 overall with earnings of $211,228.
In her first stakes try Feb. 9, trainer Jorge Periban’s Oscillator steadied early and finished an even seventh in the 6 ½ furlong Wishing Well Stakes. Owned by Stephen Campbell, Oscillator, a 5-year-old mare by Decarchy, has a second and a third from three tries down the hill. She is 14-3-5-4 overall with earnings of $140,798.
The complete field for the Irish O’Brien, to be run as the fourth race on a nine-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Boller Bomb, Martin Garcia, 117; Dancingtothestars, Joe Talamo, 122; Oscillator, Edwin Maldonado, 117; Tribal Spy, Irving Orozco, 117; Ciao Bella Luna, Rafael Bejarano, 122; Sudden Sunday, Victor Espinoza, 117, and Could Be Trouble, Corey Nakatani, 117.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.