ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 2, 2017)–Under a confident hand ride from Corey Nakatani, Irish-bred Goodyearforroses proved best going a marathon mile and one half on turf, as she took Thursday’s $75,000 Astra Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths. Trained by Richard Baltas, she got the distance in 2:28.07.
A winner of the Robert J. Frankel Stakes over a sloppy main track at a mile and one eighth on New Year’s Eve, Goodyearforroses was off at 7-2 in a field of 10 older fillies and mares and paid $9.20, $5.60 and $3.40.
Breaking from post position eight with the temporary inner rail set at 20 feet, Nakatani had his mount positioned mid-pack with a half mile to run and was third, just off the lead turning for home.
“I just listened to what Richard told me to do today,” said Nakatani, who also orchestrated her Frankel win. “I got her into a spot that I knew we needed to be in. On the far turn, I had a target (eventual fifth place finisher, Frenzified) with Mike Smith in front of me and Bejarano (Rafael, aboard third place finisher Ryans Charm) was just to my right. He moved out enough and it was over.”
Owned by Abbondanza Racing, LLC, which consisted of a boisterous group of celebrants who watched the race trackside, adjacent to the Winner’s Circle, Goodyearforroses, in her second start for Baltas since shipping in from Toronto, picked up her sixth win from 14 starts. A 5-year-old mare, she got $46,800 for the win, which increased her earnings to $245,995.
“I was expecting a big effort today,” said Baltas. “I wasn’t concerned about the distance at all. She won at a mile and a half on turf at Woodbine, at a mile and three eighths on synthetic, and she’s been training very well…My owners are great. They love it, they have a good time and they let me do my job.”
Argentine-bred Estrechada, off at 56-1 with Stewart Elliott up, stalked the pace and finished well to be second, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of Ryans Charm while paying $34.40 and $9.60.
The 8-5 favorite with Bejarano, Ryans Charm paid $2.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 24.08, 48.44, 1:14.18, 1:39.43 and 2:04.48.
First post time on Friday at Santa Anita is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open 11 a.m.