ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2017)–With a couple of confident looks back, veteran Corey Nakatani stepped on the gas heading into the far turn and went on to a convincing 1 ¾ length win aboard Goodyearforroses in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes for older fillies and mares. Trained by Richard Baltas, the 5-year-old Irish-bred mare got a mile and one eighth on grass in 1:47.98 as she took her third consecutive stakes race of the Winter Meet.
A measured fourth, about two lengths off of pacesetter Kenriya three furlongs from home, Goodyearforroses made an eye catching move around the turn, swung three-wide turning for home and aside from a couple back-handed reminders, was hand-ridden to victory.
A winner of both the Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Dec. 31 and the Astra II Stakes on Feb. 2, Goodyearforroses was off at even money in a field of eight and paid $4.00, $3.00 and $2.20.
Transferred to Baltas following a third place finish in the Grade III Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine on Nov. 5, Goodyearforroses is unbeaten with her new connections.
“She’s been aggressive from the time we got her and it’s nice to have a jock like Corey, who I don’t have to give any instructions to,” said Baltas. “She’s done everything right and she’s acted like a good horse. We’ve got some weight on her now and she’s all race horse.”
When asked where she might run next, Baltas responded, “We might stay home and run in the Gamely (Grade I, 1 1/8 miles on turf, May 27).”
Owned by Abbondanza Racing, LLC, who brought a large throng of racing enthusiasts to the Winner’s Circle, Goodyearforroses now has seven wins from 15 starts and with the winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $365,995.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Nakatani. “She’s doing unbelievable, as you can tell from the way she ran today. She tells us when she wants to run and she’s just such a good mare.”
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Argentine-bred Pretty Girl, who was last after six furlongs, proved second best, finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of Sweet Charity. Off at 7-1, Pretty Girl paid $7.20 and $3.80.
With Flavien Prat up, Sweet Charity was off at 4-1 and paid $3.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.85, 48.90, 1:12.80 and 1:36.58.
First post time for an eight-race card on Thursday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.