ARCADIA, Calif. (May 27, 2016)–Hronis Racing’s Nancy From Nairobi will be bidding for her fourth consecutive win as she heads a field of nine in Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita. For fillies and mares three and up, the Gamely will be contested at a mile and one eighth on turf.
Named for William Haggin Perry’s three-time Eclipse Award winning daughter of Bold Ruler (1967, 68 & 69), the Gamely was first run in 1939 at Hollywood Park as the Long Beach Handicap. It will be run for the third consecutive year at Santa Anita on Monday.
NANCY FROM NAIROBI: Trained by John Sadler, this 5-year-old English-bred mare will stretch out a furlong off a solid half length win here in the Grade II Royal Heroine Stakes on May 5. Ultra-impressive in a pair of allowance scores on Feb. 5 (1 1/8 miles on turf) and March 4 (one mile turf), “Nancy” earned a 96 Beyer Speed figure in taking the Royal Heroine, which was her fifth start under Sadler’s care. With a win and a second from two lifetime tries at the Gamely distance, she has an eye-catching turn of foot and appears to be primed for a career-best effort. With an overall mark of 22-5-6-0, she has earnings of $271,456. She will again be ridden by Abel Lezcano, who has been aboard in all of her stateside starts.
FANTICOLA: Blessed with an abundance of natural speed, this 6-year-old Ontario Canadian-bred mare led every step of the way in last year’s Gamely, only to be collared late while finishing second, beaten a neck. Trained by Phil D’Amato and owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Fanticola, who stalked the pace and finished third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by Nancy From Nairobi in the Grade II Royal Heroine May 5, will be making her third start of the year in the Gamely and rates a huge chance. Ultra-consistent, Fanticola is 12-3-3-5 over the Santa Anita turf and is 21-5-5-8 overall with earnings of $537,300.
NASHOBA’S GOLD: A two-time graded stakes winner here in 2014, this 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Smart Strike was winless in three starts last year and comes off a fourth place finish here in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles turf Santa Ana Stakes on March 26. Owned and bred by Warren B. Williamson, she is out of Williamson Racing’s good producing mare Nashoba. Trained by Carla Gaines, Nashoba’s Gold was an even fifth two starts back going a flat mile on turf in the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes on Feb. 20 and appears to be coming to her best in what will be her third start of the year. With all three of her career wins (from four tries) coming at the Gamely distance, Nashoba’s Gold will be making her 11th career start on Monday. She has earnings of $284,438.
WEKEELA: Headquartered with trainer Chad Brown at Belmont Park, this 4-year-old French-bred filly showed ample promise in her U.S. debut, finishing second, beaten five lengths, in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles turf Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland on April 16. A Group III winner in France in her only try at a mile and one eighth on turf, Wekeela, who will likely be attentive to the early pace, merits plenty of respect in her Southern California debut. Owned by Martin Schwartz, she has three wins and three seconds from nine starts and has earnings of $242,587.
THE GRADE I GAMELY STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS
Race 8 (of 10) Approximate post time 5:30 p.m. PDT
- Nancy From Nairobi–Abel Lezcano–121
- Evo Campo–Rafael Bejarano–121
- Dressed to a T–Mario Gutierrez–121
- Fanticola–Joe Talamo–121
- Elektrum–Victor Espinoza–121
- Wekeela–Javier Castellano–121
- Keri Belle–Mike Smith–121
- Illuminant–Flavien Prat–121
- Nashoba’s Gold–Tyler Baze–121
First post time on Monday is at 2 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit http://www.santaanita.com/horse-racing/live-racing/.