STEVENS, PROCTOR TEAM UP VERSUS ARRAY OF WELL ACCOMPLISHED DISTAFFERS
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2015)–Recent Grade II winner Diversy Harbor heads a deep and competitive field of 11 older fillies and mares set to go a mile and one eighth on turf in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita.
Owned by Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor, Diversy Harbor flew from far back under Gary Stevens to win the Grade II, one mile turf Buena Vista Stakes on Feb. 16 and will hope for a similar result with an extra furlong to cover in the Santa Ana. A 4-year-old filly by Curlin, Diversy Harbor has two seconds and a third place finish from four tries at 1 1/8 miles on turf and is 10-3-4-1 overall with earnings of $377,190.
Second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in Del Mar’s Grade I, one mile turf Matriarch Nov. 30, trainer Paddy Gallagher’s Queen of The Sand enters the Santa Ana as a fresh horse and has the advantage of retaining the services of Mike Smith, with whom she teamed for victory two starts back in the one mile turf Kathryn Crosby Stakes on Nov. 7.
A 5-year-old Irish-bred mare by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Footstepsinthesand, Queen of The Sand is also a deep closer stretching out an eighth of a mile. Owned by Derrek Fisher, she is 21-7-2-3 overall with earnings of $253,670.
Favored in her last four starts, all graded stakes events, French-bred Testa Rossi finished second but was placed first via disqualification in her most recent out, a Grade III, 1 1/16 miles turf stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 31. Trained by Chad Brown, 4-year-old Testa Rossi came from the clouds to win her U.S. debut six starts back, the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles turf Miss Grillo Stakes on Oct. 6 at Belmont Park.
Owned by Covello, Coleman and Doheny Racing Stable, Testa Rossi is based at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida and will get the services of top rider Rafael Bejarano in her Southern California debut. She is 11-6-2-0 with lifetime earnings of $562,817.
A winner of the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles (polytrack) Ashland Stakes last April at Keeneland, highly accomplished Rosalind comes off a close second in the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Suwanee River Stakes on Feb. 7 at Gulfstream and will make her second start for Chad Brown in the Santa Ana, which will be her second career try at 1 1/8 miles on grass. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Broken Vow, she’ll again be ridden by Joel Rosario, who guided her to a seven length score in the Ashland.
Owned by Dubb, Michael, Bethlehem Stables, LLC, and Highclere America, Rosalind is 12-2-2-3 overall with earnings of $633,164.
Brown will also be represented by a third entrant, Irish-bred Elektrum, who stretches out off a pair of second place finishes in one mile turf allowance races on Feb. 1 & 26. Although Mike Smith opts to ride Queen of The Sand, Elektrum gets the services of Hall of Fame candidate Corey Nakatani.
Third, beaten a neck in the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Robert J. Frankel Stakes Dec. 27, Team Valor International’s homebred Three Hearts stalked the early pace and took Del Mar’s Grade III, 1 3/8 miles turf Red Carpet Handicap two starts back on Nov. 22 and rates a big chance in her third start for trainer Neil Drysdale. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by the Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick, Three Hearts is 5-1-1-2 at the Santa Ana distance and is 15-3-3-4 overall with earnings of $204,249.
A Grade III stakes winner five starts back this past August going 1 1/8 miles on a soft turf at Monmouth Park, trainer Graham Motion’s Rusty Slipper comes off a close third in the one mile turf Megahertz at Santa Anita Jan. 17 and will likely stalk the early pace on Sunday. Owned by RMJ Stables, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Lemon Drop Kid is 11-4-0-2 overall with earnings of $164,864. Aaron Gryder, who rode Rusty Slipper to a close sixth place finish two starts back in the Grade III Frankel, will be back aboard on Sunday as Bejarano opts to ride Testa Rossi.
The complete field for the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes, to be run as the seventh race on a nine-race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Testa Rossi, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Winning Rhythm, Victor Espinoza, 118; Hoop of Colour, Drayden Van Dyke, 118; Diversy Harbor, Gary Stevens, 123; Queen of The Sand, Mike Smith, 118; Elektrum, Corey Nakatani, 118; Rusty Slipper, Aaron Gryder, 118; Rosalind, Joel Rosario, 118; Indecise, Flavien Prat, 118; Three Hearts, Tyler Baze, 118, and Lady of Gold, Kent Desormeaux, 118.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m., admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.