STREAKING VALE DORI & SHOW STEALER HEAD PACK IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II, SANTA MARIA STAKES AS BAFFERT & SHERMAN ARE SET TO COLLIDE AT 1 1/16 MILES

 

SECOND TO VALE DORI LAST MONTH, SHERMAN’S SHOW STEALER HOPES TO TURN TABLES

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2017)–Although Bob Baffert’s streaking Vale Dori has taken on an air of invincibility following her victory in last month’s Grade II La Canada Stakes, Art Sherman’s Show Stealer will be looking for a piece of the action as this pair heads a field of six older fillies and mares in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita.  Won last year by Jerry Hollendorfer’s Tara’s Tango, the Santa Maria will be run for the 75th time and be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.

 

                VALE DORI:  An odds-on winner of her last three races by a combined 15 ¾ lengths, Argentine-bred Vale Dori is at the top of her game at age five and has four wins from six stateside starts for Baffert.  A gate to wire winner over a “good” surface in the  1 1/16 miles La Canada here on Jan. 14, she’ll likely be on the lead once again, or sitting second to trainer Jim Cassidy’s addition of Midnight Toast. Dispatched at 1-5 in the La Canada, she was 1-2 two starts back in the Grade II Bayakoa on Dec. 3, a race in which she laid second for three quarters of a mile and rallied to win by an authoritative three lengths.  Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, Vale Dori has been ridden in her past two starts by “Big Money” Mike Smith, who is back aboard Saturday.  A Group I winner in her native Argentina, Vale Dori is 11-6-3-1 overall with earnings of $574,943.

 

SHOW STEALER:  Owned and bred in Kentucky by CHRB Commissioner George Krikorian, this 5-year-old mare by Eskendereya was second, beaten 2 ½ lengths by Vale Dori in the La Canada and never threatened when fourth to her two starts back in the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap Dec. 3.  Trained by Art Sherman and based at Los Alamitos, Show Stealer ran what appeared to be the best race of her career in the La Canada Jan. 14, and she’ll hope to improve off of that effort with Tyler Baze riding back on Saturday.  With a fast pace expected, Show Stealer will likely be taken in-hand early and be called upon around the far turn.  With an overall mark of 20-3-3-3, she has earnings of $217,180.

 

THE GRADE II SANTA MARIA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 4 of 9 – Approximate post time 2 p.m. PT

 

  1. Midnight Toast, Jamie Theriot, 120
  2. Lady Tapit, Mario Gutierrez, 120
  3. Autumn Flower, Flavien Prat 120
  4. Sheer Pleasure, Martin Garcia, 120
  5. Show Stealer, Tyler Baze, 120
  6. Vale Dori–Mike Smith–122

First post time for a nine-race card Saturday at Santa Anita 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.