ZENYATTA’S HALF SISTER, EBLOUISSANTE, AMONG SUPPORTING CAST OF FILLIES & MARES
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 15, 2014)–Grade I winner Let Faith Arise heads a field of 10 fillies and mares set to go 1 1/16 miles in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Adoration Stakes at Santa Anita, as she returns to Santa Anita following a fourth place run in Oaklawn Park’s Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap on April 11. Formerly run at the now-shuttered Hollywood Park, the Adoration will be contested for the first time at Santa Anita.
A winner of the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes two starts back on March 15, Let Faith Arise was off at 3-1 in the five-horse Apple Blossom, but tired late to be beaten three lengths. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Corey Nakatani, she prompted the pace in the Santa Margarita and drew off to a 1 ¾ length win while earning her top career Beyer Speed figure of 100.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Kafwain, Let Faith Arise is owned by her breeder, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC. With earnings of $410,240, her overall mark stands at 11-5-2-1.
Hollendorfer will also saddle graded stakes winning Scarlet Strike and Floral Romance, who was Grade III stakes placed three starts back at Tampa Bay Downs.
Although a disappointing fourth in a second condition allowance going one mile on turf May 1, Scarlet Strike was a winner of the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Providencia Stakes six starts back on April 6, 2013, and she has solid main track credentials as well, evidenced by her four graded stakes placings–two of them in Grade I’s.
Owned by Carver, Hollendorfer and Smith, the 4-year-old Smart Strike filly is 15-2-5-5 overall with earnings of $386,810.
Owned and bred by Pam and Martin Wygod, Floral Romance was an even sixth, beaten six lengths in the Grade III, 1 ¼ miles turf Santa Barbara Handicap on April 13. The 5-year-old After Market mare will try the main track for the first time in her 12-race career. She has three wins and earnings of $159,630.
An upset winner of the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles La Canada Stakes two starts back on Jan. 19, Richard Mandella’s Spellbound comes off a fourth place run in the Santa Margarita. Flattered by a fast pace in the La Canada, Spellbound tried to again rally from far off the pace in the Santa Margarita but didn’t have the same kick when running into softer fractions.
A 4-year-old filly by Bernardini, Spellbound is owned by Ramona S. Bass, LLC, Claiborne Farm and Dilschneider. A winner of three races from nine starts, she has earnings of $229,750.
The lone California-bred in the field, Benjamin Warren’s homebred Warren’s Veneda was a well beaten third two starts back in the Grade II, 1 1/6 miles Bayakoa Stakes on Dec. 7 and comes off a third place run in the six furlong Spring Fever Stakes versus state-breds on April 26. With the recent race under her belt, the 4-year-old filly by Affirmative could be set for a much improved effort stretching out.
Trained by Craig Lewis, Warren’s Veneda is 12-5-1-4 overall, with earnings of $315,064.
John Sadler’s up-and-coming Legacy was sent to the front in the restricted Santa Lucia Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth on April 20, and tired to finish second, beaten 5 ¼ lengths by two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder. Owned by Jain, Opas and Sinatra, Legacy will try graded company for the first time in the Adoration.
A winner of her first two starts, Eblouissante, a much-publicized half sister to the great Zenyatta, has thus far failed to run to her early notices. Bet to 4-1 in her third start, the Grade III Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga on July 20, 2013, she had trouble at the gate and finished last, beaten 30 ¼ lengths. Sidelined seven months, she came back to run second in a 1 1/16 miles allowance at odds of 3-5 on Feb. 13.
Owned by St. George Racing, LLC, Eblouissante is trained by “Mr. Zenyatta,” John Shirreffs, and will be ridden for the first time by Gary Stevens. A 5-year-old mare by Bernardini, out of the Kris S. mare Vertigineux, she has two wins and a second from four starts–good for earnings of $77,800.
The complete field for the Adoration, to be run as the eighth race on a 10-race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Let Faith Arise, Corey Nakatani, 124; Legacy, Drayden Van Dyke, 119; Floral Romance, Mike Smith, 119; Yahilwa, Kent Desormeaux, 119; Champagneandcaviar, Tyler Baze, 119; Eblouissante, Gary Stevens, 119; Irish Presence, Fernando Perez, 119; Spellbound, Victor Espinoza, 124; Warren’s Veneda, Joe Talamo, 119, and Scarlet Strike, Edwin Maldonado, 119.
First post time on Sunday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.