RIVALS BAFFERT, O’NEILL & HOLLENDORFER CLASH IN PREP TO GRADE I SANTA ANITA OAKS APRIL 8
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 5, 2017)–Bob Baffert’s Grade I winning Noted and Quoted, along with Doug O’Neill’s Grade III winner Shane’s Girlfriend and Jerry Hollendorfer’s rousing maiden winner Unique Bella head a strong field of nine sophomore fillies in Sunday’s Grade II, seven furlong Santa Ynez Stakes–an important steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks here on April 8.
NOTED AND QUOTED: A half length winner of Santa Anita’s Grade I Chandelier Stakes on Oct. 1, this grey daughter of The Factor made an easy lead in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here on Nov. 5, but tired badly to finish seventh, beaten 10 lengths. Owned by Speedway Stable, LLC, she’ll try to rebound with a cutback in distance from 1 1/16 miles to seven furlongs and will be ridden for the first time by Martin Garcia. With two wins from five starts, she was fourth in her only other try at seven eighths of a mile, the Grade I Del Mar Debutante, three starts back on Sept. 3.
SHANE’S GIRLFRIEND: A handy 5 ¾ length first out maiden winner going six furlongs here on Oct. 28, this Florida-bred daughter of Adios Charlie followed that up with a devastating 13 ¼ length win in the Grade III, one mile Delta Downs Princess Stakes on Nov. 19. Owned by ERJ Racing, LLC, W.C. Racing and Dennis O’Neill, she brings an abundance of speed and ability to the Santa Ynez party and could go favored if doubts linger regarding Noted and Quoted’s disappointing Breeders’ Cup run. She’ll be ridden back by Flavien Prat.
UNIQUE BELLA: A Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Tapit, she disappointed as the 1-5 favorite in her five furlong maiden debut here on June 23, but blitzed the opposition by 10 ¼ lengths in her second start, a maiden special weight affair at 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 26 at Del Mar. Freshened since and with three recent bullet works on her tab, Unique Bella could prove tough to catch in her first start versus winners on Sunday. Owned by Don Alberto Stable, she retains the services of Mike Smith.
IT TIZ WELL: Owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC, this Kentucky-bred filly by Arch comes off a smashing 10 length maiden win going six furlongs at Los Alamitos Dec. 18 and looms “The other Hollendorfer” in a talent-laden lineup. A solid third in her six furlong maiden debut here Oct. 28 at 3-1, It Tiz Well was hammered to 2-5 favoritism in her maiden win. Although her stablemate, Unique Bella, will no doubt command more pari-mutuel respect on Sunday, It Tiz Well would appear to have plenty of upside with Drayden Van Dyke back for a return engagement.
THE GRADE II SANTA YNEZ STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS
Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PST
- Resilient Humor–Kent Desormeaux–120
- Sandy’s Surprise–Mario Gutierrez–120
- Unique Bella–Mike Smith–120
- Carrie–Modesto Linares–120
- Princess Karen–Rafael Bejarano–120
- Noted and Quoted–Martin Garcia–124
- Go On Mary–Jamie Theriot–120
- Shane’s Girlfriend–Flavien Prat–122
- It Tiz Well–Drayden Van Dyke–120
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.