ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2015) – Trained by Eddie Truman, Stakes winner Go West Marie returns Saturday to the surface she has excelled over since joining the Truman barn this past summer, and she heads a field of seven set to go in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s unique hillside turf course.
Trained by Truman since June 2014, the formerly East Coast-based Go West Marie will again attempt to prove the admonition in her name Saturday having only run out of the money once in eight starts since shipping to California. ‘GWM’ will seek her second win in-a-row down Santa Anita’s downhill turf course in the O’Brien and her third in-a-row since teaming with Hall of Famer Gary Stevens. A winner of the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint Stakes Jan. 24 in her last out, she has never been worse than third over the course.
“Eddie’s done a great job with this filly,” said Stevens following the win. “I got her at the right time. I’ve learned a lot about her. The key with a filly like this is they’re professional- let them settle and they’re going to finish for you.”
Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd. the 4-year-old filly by Western Fame is 17-5-1-5 overall with earnings of $402,520.
Course authority Velvet Mesquite, trained by Blake Heap will seek redemption after a slow start and a troubled fourth to Go West Marie in the SM F&M Turf Sprint and, with the defection of both Far Right and Take Charge Brandi from the Rebel in Arkansas on Saturday she will retain the services of top-rider Mike Smith here at Santa Anita.
Only out of the money in two out of her eight starts down the hill, Velvet Mesquite clipped heels crossing the dirt in the Sunshine Millions per Gary Stevens who was on Go West Marie right behind Smith. “Velvet Mesquite gave me a great lead. She clipped heels crossing the dirt and I was directly behind him, we were getting up close but I was able to duck inside.”
The 5-year-old by In Excess is owned and bred by Harris Farms, Inc. She is 12-5-2-1- overall with $293,606 in earnings.
Trainer Jorge Gutierrez will send out Warren’s Gussie, a 6-year-old mare by Doc Gus who is looking for her third win in-a-row down the hillside. Though she will be making a jump in class Saturday, her first and only two attempts over the course have both resulted in wins; a claiming event Jan. 4 and was a head winner in an allowance race Feb. 21, two races that have her connections hoping Saturday will again be a good day for their late-running mare.
Warren’s Gussie will keep rider Edwin Maldonado who has been up for both hillside victories. She is owned and bred by Benjamin Warren and is 12-5-0-1 overall with earnings of $105,210.
The complete field for Saturday’s Irish O’Brien Stakes, to be run as the fifth race on a nine-race card, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Bert’s Melody, Brice Blanc, 117; Demonica, Joe Talamo, 117; Warren’s Gussie, Edwin Maldonado, 117; Go West Marie, Gary Stevens, 122; Qiaona, Rafael Bejarano, 117; Velvet Mesquite, Mike Smith, 119; Star Field, Tiago Pereira, 117.
The first post on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.