ARCADIA, Calif. (June 11, 2014)–Jerry Hollendorfer’s Let Faith Arise and Bill Mott’s Grace Hall head a field of eight fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Vanity Stakes at Santa Anita.
A game winner of the Grade III Adoration Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth May 18, Let Faith Arise pressed the pace and was an impressive 1 ¾ length winner of the Grade I, mile and one eighth Santa Margarita Stakes three starts back on March 15.
A 4-year-old filly by Kafwain, Let Faith Arise has been ridden in her last five starts by Corey Nakatani, winning two of them. Owned by her breeder, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC, she is 12-6-2-1 overall with earnings of $470,240.
Hollendorfer will also be represented by the speedy Scherzinger, who was a winner two starts back of the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Monica Stakes and will be trying two turns for the first time in the Vanity. Most recently third, beaten five lengths in the Grade I, seven furlong Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs May 3, Scherzinger has four wins, a second and two thirds from eight starts. Owned by Mark DeDominico, LLC and Hollendorfer, she has earnings of $278,103.
A five time stakes winner, Grace Hall, who was previously trained by Anthony Dutrow, overcame a 13-month layoff to run a close second in the Grade II, one mile Ruffian at Belmont Park on May 11–her first start for Mott.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Empire Maker, Grace Hall was six lengths off the early lead in the one turn Ruffian, but had done her best running in the past when pressing the early pace. Bred by Darley and owned by Alpha Delta Stables, she’ll be ridden for the fourth consecutive time by Joel Rosario.
With a win and a third at 1 1/8 miles, Grace Hall is 14-6-3-2 overall with earnings of $1,466,360.
Second, beaten 1 ¾ lengths as the 7-5 favorite in the Santa Margarita March 15, John Sadler’s Iotapa pressed the pace and tired badly to finish sixth, beaten 9 ½ lengths, in the Humana Distaff May 3. A gate to wire winner of the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles Santa Maria Stakes three starts back on Feb. 15, Iotapa figures to be forwardly placed in the Vanity.
A 4-year-old Afleet Alex filly, Iotapa is 10-4-4-1 with earnings of $436,796. She’s owned by Hronis Racing, LLC.
Sadler will also be represented by the well-traveled Magic Union, who has run at seven different tracks in her last nine starts, her most recent a fourth place finish in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles La Troiene Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 2. A 4-year-old filly by Dixie Union, she was a close second in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 15. Her most recent win came six starts back in a one mile allowance at Del Mar on Aug. 25.
Also owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, Magic Union will be trying a mile and one eighth for the first time. She is 15-3-4-2 overall with earnings of $205,926.
Dismissed at 17-1, trainer Jim Cassidy’s Yahilwa set the pace and just missed when second, beaten a neck by Let Faith Arise in the Grade III Adoration on May 18 and rates a big shot with Kent Desormeaux riding her back in the Vanity.
A 4-year-old filly by Medaglia d’Oro, Yahilwa was raced in England for her first 12 starts and will be making her sixth start for Cassidy in the Vanity. Owned by DP Racing, LLC, she’s 17-3-2-4 overall.
The complete field for the Vanity Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Iotapa, Joe Talamo, 119; Magic Union, Javier Castellano, 119; Grace Hall, Joel Rosario, 119; Let Faith Arise, Corey Nakatani, 124; Scherzinger, Elvis Trujillo, 119; Yahilwa, Kent Desormeaux, 119; Irish Presence, Fernando Perez, 119, and Unusual Way, Edwin Maldonado, 119.
First post time on Saturday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.