COMPETITIVE FIELD OF 12 FILLIES & MARES SET TO GO 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2015)–A deep and competitive field of 12 fillies and mares, headed by promising Gender Agenda, Wishing Gate, Judy In Disguise and Velvet Mesquite have signed on to run in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course.
An impressive allowance winner her U.S. debut going a flat mile on turf Sept. 3, Gender Agenda comes off a fourth place finish in the Grade I, one mile turf Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 30 and will be making her fifth stateside start for trainer Carla Gaines.
In her only try down the hillside, English-bred Gender Agenda rallied to be a sharp second, beaten a neck, in the Unzip Me Stakes three starts back on Sept. 27. Owned by Keith Brackpool, Alon Ossip and Tim Ritvo, 4-year-old Gender Agenda is 11-2-3-2 overall with earnings of $109,660.
Wishing Gate, a multiple graded stakes winner trained by Tom Proctor, comes off a fifth place finish in the restricted Kathryn Crosby Stakes, run at one mile on turf Nov. 7 at Del Mar. the 5-year-old Florida-bred mare by Indian Charlie will shorten up out of 15 consecutive turf routes and will sprint for only the second time in her career. Although winless from five starts in 2014, the Glen Hill Farm homebred is 16-4-4-0 overall, with earnings of $373,942.
Proctor will also saddle consistent Biorhythm, who ran fourth and second in a pair of hillside stakes last year and won a classified allowance down the hill two starts back on Oct. 3. Also owned by Glen Hill Farm, the 5-year-old Florida-bred by Malibu Moon has two wins and a second from four tries down the hill. She is 12-4-1-2 overall with earnings of $184,700.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trained by Simon Callaghan, English-bred Judy In Disguise ran just once last year, resulting in a sharp half length win in a seven furlong allowance at Del Mar on Nov. 28. A 5-year-old English-bred mare, Judy In Disguise was a minor stakes winner down the hillside on Feb. 16, 2013. With Joe Talamo set to ride her back, Judy In Disguise has an overall mark of 16-5-3-3, with earnings of $214,204.
California-bred Velvet Mesquite makes her first start since running a close second as the 2-1 favorite in the 6 ½ furlong Senator Ken Maddy Stakes on Nov. 1–a race that due to overnight rain, was transferred from the hillside turf to the main track. A 5-year-old mare by In Excess, owned and bred by Harris Farms, Inc., Velvet Mesquite adores the hillside, having won five of her six races over it, including the California Distaff Handicap two starts back on Oct. 11. She has earnings of $260,606 from an overall mark of 10-5-2-0.
With all horses assigned 118 pounds, the complete field for the Grade II Monrovia Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race program Sunday, with jockeys in post position order: Shrinking Violet, Kent Desormeaux; To My Valentine, Fernando Perez; Baruta, Tiago Pereira; Heat Trap, Victor Espinoza; Gender Agenda, Tyler Baze; Warm Breeze, Kieren Fallon; Wishing Gate, Gary Stevens; Biorhythm, Drayden Van Dyke; One More, Mario Gutierrez; Sky Treasure, Corey Nakatani; Judy In Disguise, Joe Talamo,, and Velvet Mesquite, Mike Smith.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.