ARCADIA, Calif. (May 24, 2017)–Trainer Michael McCarthy’s classy Illuminant and Phil D’Amato’s upstart Enola Gray head a wide open field of nine fillies and mares 3-years-old and up in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
A winner of last year’s Grade I Gamely Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf, Illuminant had the lead turning for home in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland April 15, but tired to finish seventh.
A Nick Alexander homebred daughter of Grazen, Enola Gray blitzed a group of California-bred or sired distaffers in the Irish O’Brien Stakes on March 18, giving her a perfect three for three record over the course.
ILLUMINANT: Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Head of Plains, LLC and SF Racing, LLC, this 5-year-old Pennsylvania-bred mare by Quality Road cuts back in distance and gets back on a course she adores, evidenced by her 4-2-1-0 record down the hill. A winner of the downhill Wishing Well Stakes two starts back on March 10, she’ll hope to get another stalking trip under regular rider Flavien Prat. Trained by McCarthy throughout her career, Illuminant is 13-5-2-1 overall with earnings of $416,243.
ENOLA GRAY: In what appeared to be her best-ever race, Enola Gray was completely dominant in taking the Irish O’Brien at 2-5 and even though she takes a steep raise in class in this graded spot, she amply demonstrated her class when third in the Grade I La Brea Stakes going seven furlongs on dirt here Dec. 26. Reunited with Tyler Baze, who’s been aboard for all six of her career wins, she sports an overall mark of 9-6-2-1 and has earnings of $509,100.
THE GRADE II, $200,000 MONROVIA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
- Swift Lady–Martin Garcia–122
- Spy Ring–Mike Smith–117
- Watch This Cat–Rafael Bejarano–122
- Illuminant–Flavien Prat–124
- Coniah–Irad Ortiz, Jr.–122
- Juno–Kent Desormeaux–122
- Paquita Coqueta–Gary Stevens–122
- Enola Gray–Tyler Baze–122
- Anita Partner–Brice Blanc–122
First post time for a nine-race card that will include four graded stakes on Saturday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.