FAVORED SUGAR MINT MAKES SHORT WORK OF WHITE DOVE PURSE

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 19, 2009) – After being considered for Sunday’s Grade II Santa Ana Handicap, Sugar Mint instead took part in Thursday’s $57,200 White Dove Purse, and the 7-10 favorite dominated her opposition in the one-mile turf event for fillies and mares at Santa Anita.

Sugar Mint tracked pace-setter Heathersdaddysbaby, disposed of her on the turn, and she crossed the wire 2¼ lengths ahead of General Consensus while under a hand ride by Rafael Bejarano. The victorious 4-year-old Irish-bred filly was timed in 1:34.46.

It was the second win in three stateside competitions for the daughter of High Chaparral who had raced against many of the leading fillies in England before being purchased by William de Burgh and placed in the care of trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

“It’s not that I don’t think she could win the Santa Ana,” Hollendorfer’s local assistant, Dan Ward, said before the decision was made to race Sugar Mint on Thursday. He explained that the timetable better fit a plan to run her next in Hollywood Park’s Grade III Wilshire Handicap at one mile on turf on May 2.

Sugar Mint completely controlled the White Dove before returning mutuels of $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10. General Consensus, handled by Alex Solis, paid $3.40 and $3 after finishing one length ahead of Divine Legacy in the field of eight. The latter, with Tyler Baze aboard, paid $5.20 to show.

After handily winning her United States debut on Jan. 8 while going 6½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, Sugar Mint returned to run a close third as the favorite in a one-mile allowance event on turf. She lost by a head in a three-horse photo in the race on Jan. 30.

Sugar Mint did little in the White Dove to dispel the notion that she will be a stakes filly in the U.S. after competing in three Group 1 stakes in England at the ages of 2 and 3.

She earned $33,600 on Thursday to bring her career total to $114,996 from a record of 3-2-1 in 12 career starts.

On Friday, Santa Anita presents one of its popular “Free Fridays” promotions while offering free admission, free box seats on a first-come, first-served basis and hot dogs, beer, sodas, popcorn and coffee for $1. First post for the eight-race program is at 1 p.m.

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