ON-TRACK CROWD OF 22,831 TAKE IN KENTUCKY DERBY DAY FESTIVITIES & 11-RACE LOCAL CARD
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 7, 2016)–In a thrilling stretch duel, combacking Stays in Vegas prevailed by a head over favored Be Mine to take Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Senorita Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Alex Solis and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Stays in Vegas, who had been idle since Dec. 12, got flat mile on turf in 1:37.98.
Breaking from the far outside in a field of seven sophomore fillies, Stays in Vegas sat a close third in behind Fourth Watch and the favorite into the Club House turn, tracked that pair to the quarter pole and engaged Be Mine three sixteenths from home in what was a thrilling finishing touch to Kentucky Derby Day at The Great Race Place.
“She’s a very nice filly,” said Solis, who has now guided the Kentucky-bred daughter of City Zip to three one mile turf wins, with the Senorita her first graded score. “She keeps improving. Jerry gave her a little break and she just keeps improving.
“We wanted to make sure we stayed close and tracked the favorite. At the three and a half, I had to move a little earlier than I wanted but I didn’t want her to get away from me. At the top of the stretch, my filly was very game.”
The 5-2 third choice in the wagering, Stays in Vegas paid $7.20, $3.20 and $3.00.
“We’re real happy with the win first time off a freshening,” said Hollendorfer. “We had her ready. She’s started her campaign now and we’re ready to go on with it.”
Owned by Jungle Racing, LLC, KMN Racing, LLC and LNJ Foxwoods, Stays in Vegas collected her fifth win (all stakes) from seven starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $295,600.
“The goal has been the Del Mar Oaks with this filly and this was a good way to start her back today,” said Alex Solis III, advisor to the ownership syndicate.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Be Mine made the lead at the quarter pole, but was immediately engaged to her outside by the winner and just missed in a valiant effort. Off at 8-5, Be Mine paid $3.20 and $2.80 while finishing a half length in front of a late charging Sheeza Milky Way.
Ridden by Santiago Gonzalez, Sheeza Milky Way was last after a half mile and finished a half length in front of 5-2 second choice Decked Out. Off at 13-1, Sheeza Milky Way paid $4.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.42, 47.49, 1:12.69 and 1:25.25.
Earlier in the day, the $75,000 Desert Code Stakes, which was shifted to the main track at 6 ½ furlongs due to heavy rains yesterday, was taken by Mr. Opportunist, who was ridden by Santiago Gonzalez. Trained by John Sadler, the 3-year-old Tale of the Cat colt won by 1 ½ lengths and got the distance in 1:15.30. Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, he paid $4.80 to win.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday, Mother’s Day at Santa Anita, is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.