RACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED HORSES
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 19, 2018)–With a pace scenario that defied prognostication, trainer Mark Glatt’s Cordiality sat second early and took over a quarter mile from home en route to an authoritative 1 ¾ length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Gary Stevens, who picked up the mount late in the day due to a mishap involving Tyler Baze in the sixth race, the 5-year-old California-bred mare by Papa Clem got a flat mile on turf in 1:35.78 and thus provided Hall of Famer Stevens with his first win since returning to Santa Anita full-time on Thursday.
“I was a little concerned that she might be rank today because of the trouble line in the Form from her last race (‘Pulled, steadied early’),” said Stevens. “But Mark said he was confident she’d settle, that the only reason she was rank the last time was because it was her first time running down the hill in a long time.
“He was right, she settled real nice, but I kept wondering, ‘Where is all this sprint speed in here?’ As it was, we got away with a half in 48 and three (fifths) and she exploded the last three sixteenths.”
When informed earlier that Baze, who had been transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena for xrays, had checked out with no injuries, Stevens said, “I was so glad to hear that Tyler is okay and I know he’s looking forward to getting back on this mare. It’s always great to ride for Mark. He gives very few instructions and I’ve known him since he was a small boy and I was riding for his Dad (Ron Glatt).”
A well beaten sixth in a classified allowance at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course April 21, Cordiality was off at 9-2 in a field of nine Golden State eligible fillies and mares (bred or sired in California) and paid $11.20, $5.40 and $4.00.
Owned by Lee Drummond, Mark Glatt and John Xitco, Cordiality, who is out of the Unusual Heat mare Warmth, notched her first stakes win and her third win from seven tries at one mile on turf. She’s now 21-8-6-1 overall and with the winner’s share of $60,000, she now has earnings of $316,095.
“I thought there would be lot stronger pace today, to be honest,” said Glatt. “This mare is versatile enough though that she can be up close, and they obviously walked early-on, so she was up close, but I think she could have laid third or fourth too.
“It’s an easy decision now, but beforehand we had run through her conditions so it was either run her for a tag now, or try a Cal-bred stakes and come up with the $25,000 supplement fee. We made the right decision, luckily.”
She Carmelita, who showed the way until midway around the far turn, held second by three lengths under Joe Talamo. Off at 6-1, Shy Carmelita paid $6.60 and $5.20.
A deep closer, graded stakes winning Cheekaboo rallied well into the teeth of the slow pace and finished third, three quarters of a length in front of Desert Steel. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Cheekaboo, who had been idle for nearly a year, was off at 10-1 and paid $6.20 to show.
Idle since Jan. 7, Moonless Sky, who won last year’s Fran’s Valentine via disqualification, was the 2-1 favorite, but was never a factor while running next to last under Kent Desormeaux.
“It’s disappointing, she pretty much ran the same as she did last time (seventh as the 5-2 favorite in a one mile turf second condition allowance),” said Desormeaux. “Just no response.”
Fraction on the race were 24.27, 48.68, 1:12.40 and 1:23.92.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional racing information, please visit www.santaanita.com.