ANDINA STRIDES AWAY FROM RIVALS TO GO TWO-FOR-TWO IN U.S.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2010) – Purchased privately by Arnold Zetcher following a third-place finish when debuting in England, Irish-bred Andina made it two-for-two in the United States Friday when she mowed down her competition in Santa Anita’s $50,000 optional claiming feature for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.

With Joe Talamo in the saddle, Andina overcame some early jostling to find a clear path on the outside entering the stretch and her long stride carried her to a widening 1 ½-length victory over Forbidden Paradise while stopping the timer at 1:36.75.

“After getting bumped a little early, it just took her a while to get going,” remarked trainer Ben Cecil, who sent out Andina to a maiden victory at the same distance over Hollywood Park’s turf course on Oct. 10.

Forbidden Paradise, ridden by Brice Blanc, nosed out Glory Pride, with Garrett Gomez up, for the place in the field of ten. Smart Seattle, the 5-2 favorite who finished fourth, was compromised by traffic, according to jockey Rafael Bejarano. “She was a little afraid to go between horses,” he said, “but she’s still learning.”

After going off at odds of 7-1 with Talamo aboard in Andina’s maiden victory, she gained more respect when facing winners and going off as the 3-1 second choice. Andina paid $8, $4.20 and $3.80. The prices on Forbidden Paradise were $8.40 and $4.60 while Glory Pride paid $6 to show. Five of the runners were coming out of stakes races in their previous starts including an appearance by Smart Seattle in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Considering the caliber of Friday’s field and Andina’s indication that longer distances will be within her reach, Cecil said he is targeting the $150,000 Providencia Stakes, a Grade II turf event at 1 1/8 miles on April 3, for his up-and-coming daughter of Singspiel. Friday’s win was worth $28,800 and increased Andina’s earnings to $63,935 in her budding career.

Saturday’s Sunshine Millions Day will have an early first post of 11:30 a.m. for the 11-race program that is highlighted by the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic presented by Pepsi-Cola, which goes as the eighth race. It follows the $300,000 Sunshine Million Filly & Mare Turf presented by San Manuel Bingo and Casino, slated as the seventh race, which is preceded by $200,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint, the sixth event.

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