FAVORED GOTTA HAVE HER EASILY GETS FARAWAY EYES PURSE WIN

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 6, 2009) – After competing in five successive graded stakes races and finishing second three times, Gotta Have Her found the climate in Friday’s $61,200 Faraway Eyes Purse to be ideal while registering a 1 ½ -length victory in the 6 ½-furlong event for fillies and mares over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.

As the 13-10 favorite in a field of eight, Gotta Have Her tracked the early leaders before jockey Tyler Baze found an opening between horses in midstretch, and the 5-year-old mare steadily drew away from her rivals while running the distance in 1:13.35.

Reba Is Tops, with Chantal Sutherland in the saddle, closed swiftly for the place while edging Porto Marmay, with David Flores up, by three-quarters of a length.

The well-fancied winner paid $4.60, $3 and $2.40. Reba Is Tops, who had won 3 of her 4 previous starts in Northern California and in Seattle, returned $8.60 and $5.80. The show price on Irish-bred Porto Marmay was $4.80.

It was the second win in as many starts over Santa Anita’s unique downhill grass layout for Gotta Have Her, trained by Jenine Sahadi for Green Lantern Stables.

The victory was worth $36,000 for the Kentucky-bred daughter of Royal Academy and bettered her career earnings to $336,023 from a record of 5-4-2 in 17 races.

Garrett Gomez, the current Santa Anita meet’s leading rider, won the day’s first three races as well as the last to increase his advantage over Rafael Bejarano to 13 victories, 66-53.

Headed by the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, the track’s signature race, Santa Anita presents three Grade I stakes races on Saturday including the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks that features 3-year-old filly sensation Stardom Bound and the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf. First post for the 11-race card is at 12 noon.

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