HEAVILY FAVORED BOBBI GRACE WINS $58,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE IN-HAND; STEVENS, PROCTOR TEAM FOR VICTORY WITH IRISH-BRED FILLY DOWN HILLSIDE TURF

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2015)–Heavily favored Bobbi Grace ran to her notices Friday at Santa Anita, taking the track’s $58,000 hillside turf allowance feature by a comfortable length and a quarter under Gary Stevens. Trained by Tom Proctor, Bobbi Grace sat a perfect trip under Stevens, winning in-hand while negotiating 6 ½ furlongs in 1:13.66.

“She’s a really nice filly,” said Stevens, who rode her for the first time on Friday. “She missed the break today, but I didn’t really care, it was a bit of a blessing. She would have been up in the heat of battle and she was really fresh today. I just sat and waited until we crossed the dirt (at the top of the stretch) and she actually made the lead a little too early. The better the competition, the better she’ll run.”

Off at even money in a field of ten 3-year-old fillies, Bobbi Grace paid $4.00, $2.80 and $2.40.

Victimized by a much-troubled trip in the Grade III, one mile turf Jimmy Durante Stakes on Nov. 29 at Del Mar, Bobbi Grace got her first American win in her third stateside start. She now has two wins from five overall starts and with the winner’s share of $34,800, more than doubled her earnings to $62,074. She is owned by Heider Family Stables, LLC.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Sea Mona pressed the pace early and was second to front-running Pankhurst turning for home behind splits of 21.35, 43.82 and 1:07.57. Off at 7-2, Sea Mona finished 3 ¼ lengths in front of Pankhurst and paid $4.20 and $3.40.

Pankhurst, who was ridden by Corey Nakatani, paid $4.20 to show.

First post time on Saturday at Santa Anita is 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.