ARCADIA, Calif. (April 10, 2014)–Stormy Lucy, an impressive winner of the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes on March 16, heads a competitive field of eight older fillies and mares in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on turf. Formerly trained by Frank Lucarelli, Stormy Lucy was purchased privately by Steve Moger following her Santa Ana triumph and will be saddled for the first time by his brother Ed Moger on Sunday.
Under confident handling from Rafael Bejarano, the 5-year-old Stormy Atlantic mare was taken off the pace and rallied up the rail to win the Santa Ana going away by 1 ½ lengths. Second, beaten a nose three starts back in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Dec. 29, Stormy Lucy will be handled for the second time in-a-row by Bejarano on Sunday.
Owned by Erica Gaunt, Stormy Lucy is one of four distaffers exiting the Santa Ana. She is 21-6-2-3 overall with earnings of $392,200.
A game nose winner of the 1 1/8 miles turf Frankel, Glen Hill Farm’s Customer Base shortened up to a flat mile on grass in the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes Feb. 17 and ran an even ninth, beaten seven lengths, by stable mate Pontchatrain. In her only other try at 1 ¼ miles on grass, Customer Base was a winner of the Lucie Manet Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 5.
Trained by Tom Proctor, Customer Base, a 5-year-old mare by Lemon Drop Kid, figures to be rolling late under Mike Smith. She has earnings of $322,432 from an overall mark of 19-5-3-2.
A Group I winner in her native Argentina, Ron McAnally’s Miss Serendipity stalked the pace and ran a big third, beaten 2 ½ lengths, by Stormy Lucy last time out in the Santa Ana. A close fourth two starts back to Pontchatrain in the Buena Vista, 6-year-old Miss Serendipity will be making her fourth stateside start and her 23rd overall. With five wins, five seconds and three thirds, she’s owned by Anselmo Cavalieri and has earnings of $163,358.
Third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in the Grade I, 1 ¼ miles turf American Oaks four starts back on July 13, Neil Drysdale’s Topic lacked the necessary late kick in the Santa Ana and finished sixth, beaten four lengths.
With a recent race under her belt, the 4-year-old filly by Discreet Cat could improve markedly with Corey Nakatani riding her back. Owned by Alice Bamford or Anthony Speelman, she has a win and a third from three tries at 1 ¼ miles on turf. She’s 10-2-1-2 overall with earnings of $145,910.
A close third two starts back in the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles turf Endeavor Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs Jan. 25, Floral Romance layed close to the early pace and weakened late to finish seventh and last behind Stormy Lucy in the Santa Ana on March 16. Trained by Bill Mott in her first 10 starts, the 5-year-old mare by After Market will go first time for Jerry Hollendorfer in the Santa Barbara.
Owned by her breeders, Pam and Martin Wygod, Floral Romance will be trying 1 ¼ miles for the first time. She has three wins, a second and a third and earnings of $159,380.
Trainer Gary Mandella’s Champagneandcaviar was a respectable sixth, beaten four lengths by Customer Base in the Frankel on Dec. 29 and approached the Santa Barbara fresh and in new hands, as she’ll be ridden for the first time by Joe Talamo.
A 1 1/8 miles turf allowance winner three starts back on Oct. 11, the 5-year-old mare by Van Nistelrooy was a two-time stakes winner at Emerald Downs near Seattle in 2012 and will try graded company for the third consecutive time on Sunday. Including her allowance win Oct. 11, her best races have come when she’s close to the early pace.
Owned by Fleur De Lis Stable, LLC, she is 18-4-2-2 overall with earnings of $132,721.
In her only try at the Santa Barbara distance, trainer Sean McCarthy’s Changethechannel was a game wire to wire turf allowance winner two starts back on Jan. 10 and figures to ensure a lively pace with Tyler Baze back aboard.
Transferred to dirt going 1 1/16 miles Feb. 13, the 5-year-old English Channel mare pressed the pace and caved, finishing fourth, beaten 16 lengths. Owned by Abbondanza Racing, LLC, she is 13-3-0-2 overall with earnings of $137,650.
The complete field for the Grade II Santa Barbara Stakes, to be run as the fourth race on a nine-race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Phonybooksnrecords, Drayden Van Dyke, 113; Miss Serendipity, Brice Blanc, 119; Stormy Lucy, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Champagneandcaviar, Joe Talamo, 114; Floral Romance, Agapito Delgadillo, 115; Changethechannel, Tyler Baze, 113; Customer Base, Mike Smith, 119 and Topic, Corey Nakatani, 116.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.