ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2016)–Nancy From Nairobi, Zindaya, Majestic Heat and Queen of The Sand all figure prominently among a competitive field of seven fillies and mares going one mile on turf in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Goldikova Stakes at Santa Anita.
Sunday is closing day of Santa Anita’s 23-day Autumn Meet, and as such, there will be mandatory payouts in the Pick 5, Pick Six and Super High Five.
NANCY FROM NAIROBI: Trained by John Sadler, this 5-year-old English-bred mare appears to be the horse to beat even though she was a disappointing 11th in her last start, the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Del Mar Sept. 4. With three wins and a second from four tries at one mile on turf, she should appreciate the cutback in distance as she gets the services for the first time of eastern-based Joel Rosario. A Grade II winner over the course in May, “Nancy” enters the Goldikova fresh for Sadler and would benefit from a hot pace. Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, she is 25-5-6-1 overall with earnings of $296,146.
ZINDAYA: Based in New York with trainer Chad Brown, she comes off a second place finish over a turf listed as “good” in the Grade III, one mile turf Noble Damsel at Belmont Park on Sept. 24. In her only other start at Santa Anita, she opened up early and tired to finish a close third in the Grade III, one mile turf Autumn Miss Stakes nine starts back in October, 2014. Although formerly a front-running sort, Zindaya, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by More Than Ready, has been settling just off the pace in her last four starts. Although winless in four tries at one mile on turf, she has a second and two thirds. She’ll be reunited on Sunday with Javier Castellano, who guided her to victory three starts back going seven furlongs on turf in an ungraded stakes at Belmont Park on June 9. Owned by E Five Racing Throughbreds, she is 14-5-4-3 overall with earnings of $441,240.
MAJESTIC HEAT: This 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat appears to be on the improve, as she comes of a close sixth place finish here in the Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes at a mile and a quarter on turf Oct. 1. Trained by Richard Mandella in her last four starts, she prevailed by a nose two starts back versus state-breds going one mile on turf in the Solana Beach Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 14. With three wins from seven tries at a mile on grass, Majestic Heat should appreciate the cutback in distance and she’ll be reunited with Flavien Prat, who didn’t ride her in the Rodeo Drive, but guided her to victories in her previous two starts. Owned in-part by her co-breeder Madeline Auerbach, Ron McCauley and Bardy Farm, is 10-4-1-0 overall with earnings of $255,139.
QUEEN OF THE SAND: Second in the race a year ago at Del Mar, she closed much ground when third in a restricted stakes at one mile on turf here on Oct. 8. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, this 6-year-old Irish-bred mare is another that would prefer to have a fast pace to exploit late. She’ll be making her fourth start of the year in the Goldikova and may well be coming to her best with leading man Rafael Bejarano sticking with her. With a 10-3-4-2 mark at a mile on grass, Queen of the Sand is a solid “fit” Sunday for owner Derrick Fisher. She’s 33-8-5-4 overall with earnings of $505,955.
THE GRADE II GOLDIKOVA STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS
Race 6 of 9 Approximate post time 2:20 p.m. PST
- Nancy From Nairobi–Joel Rosario–123
- Prize Exhibit–Mike Smith–121
- Queen of The Sand–Rafael Bejarano–121
- Majestic Heat–Flavien Prat–121
- Zindaya–Javier Castellano–121
- Hillhouse High–Santiago Gonzalez–121
- Tiz a Kiss–Kent Desormeaux–121
With an overnight time change to Pacific Standard Time, first post time on Sunday is 30 minutes early, at 12 noon. Admission gates will open at 10 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.