ARCADIA, Calif. (July 3, 2016)–A close fourth into the first turn behind a three-horse scramble that included favored Living The Life, Belle Hill and Gloryzapper, longshot Divina Comedia sat a close fourth down the backside, overtook Living The Life three furlongs out, wheeled three-wide turning for home and prevailed by 1 ¾ lengths under Joe Talamo in Sunday’s $75,000 Southern Truce Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Simon Callaghan, Divina Comedia got a mile and a sixteenth in 1:42.89.
“We had an absolutely perfect trip today,” said Talamo. “It was a great set up. Those two fillies (Gloryzapper and Belle Hill) went head and head the whole way and they went fairly quickly, so the set up was in our favor. My mare was all heart down the lane.”
Fifth, beaten 7 ¾ lengths by the mighty Beholder in the Grade I Vanity Mile here on June 4, French-bred Divina Comedia was off at 16-1 in a field of seven older fillies and mares and paid $35.00, $12.40 and $7.00.
Owned by Marsha Naify, Divina Comedia notched her first stakes win and her fourth victory overall from 18 starts. With the winner’s share of $47,100, she increased her earnings to $218,272.
“Joe took care of her in her last race against Beholder because he knew what a tough spot that was,” said Carlos Santamaria, assistant to Callaghan. “She came out of that race great and she was ready to go today.”
Caught three-wide into the first turn, Gloryzapper took a narrow half length advantage on Belle Hill when the two of them straightened out down the backside, remained two off the fence into and around the far turn and just held the place by a head over a fast finishing Show Stealer.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Gloryzapper was the second choice in the wagering and paid $4.20 and $3.00.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Show Stealer rallied from well off the pace to finish third, 3 ½ lengths clear of Moyo Honey. Off at 15-1, Show Stealer paid $4.80 to show.
Off at 8-5, Living The Life fell out of contention quickly on the far turn and was eased.
Fractions on the race were 23.01, 46.50, 1:11.00 and 1:36.37.
First post time for a nine-race card on Independence Day, Monday, is at 1:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.