CHURCH CAMP TRANSFERS CHURCHILL FORM TO SANTA ANITA

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2010) – Church Camp, purchased privately after winning her maiden debut on Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs by 4 ¾ lengths, transferred her ability west to Santa Anita on Thursday with an impressive 1 ¼-length victory in the featured $47,504 first condition allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.

With jockey Joe Talamo and trainer Brian Koriner teaming for their second win of the afternoon, Church Camp found room along the rail to spurt past odds-on favorite Pink Blossom and cover 6 ½ furlongs on the main track in 1:16.02.

“It was kind of tricky being down there on the inside,” Talamo said after dismounting, “but this filly had been working great, and she’s got a turn-of-foot like a turf horse.”

Acting on behalf of Legacy Ranch and partners, Koriner purchased the chestnut daughter of Forest Camp following the decisive Kentucky victory in which she was running for a $50,000 claiming price.

Mike Smith, aboard Pink Blossom on Thursday, said his filly might have been able to offer more resistance had known of Church Camp’s whereabouts. “I didn’t see her behind me,” said Smith, “and she was able to get through along the rail.”

Pink Blossom, bet down to odds of 9-10 following a speedy maiden debut victory at Santa Anita last month, finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead of third-place Seriously and jockey Victor Espinoza in the field of six.

Church Camp, who scored at 7-1 at Churchill Downs, was the second choice on Thursday and paid $8, $3.80 and $2.60. Pink Blossom returned $2.60 and $2.40. Seriously paid $2.80 to show.

In addition to Legacy Ranch, Church Camp’s new owners Judy Carmel and Margie Strauss realized a winning purse of $27,600 as the filly bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones elevated her earnings to $40,800.

Talamo and Koriner had reached the winner’s circle earlier in the day after Canthavehim broke his maiden in the fourth race.

Santa Anita continues its popular “Free Fridays” promotion on Friday when an eight-race program is headed by the sixth running of the $60,000 Wishing Well Handicap. Admission for the card starting at 1 p.m. is free with box seats available at no charge on a first come, first served basis. Hot dogs, beer, sodas, popcorn and coffee may be purchased for $1 each.

The Wishing Well, at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course, attracted a field of 10 fillies and mares with Porto Marmay, fourth in the event last year, assigned high weight of 118 pounds. Chantal Sutherland will ride the winner of Hollywood Park’s Great Lady M Handicap who is trained by Julio Canani for Marsha Naify.

Porto Marmay’s competition includes Empressive Lady, third in Santa Anita’s Grade III Monrovia Handicap last month; She’s Cheeky, third in last year’s Grade I Santa Monica Handicap, and Juddmonte Farm’s European import Dreamt, who had a troubled trip in her United States debut last month at Santa Anita.

The complete field for the Wishing Well Handicap, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Dance to My Tune, Rafael Bejarano, 116; Skedee, Paul Atkinson, 116; Empressive Lady, Victor Espinoza, 116; She’s Cheeky, Alex Solis, 116; Step Softly, Mike Smith, 115; Royal Taat, Joel Rosario, 115; Porto Marmay, Chantal Sutherland, 118; Mona de Momma, Joseph Talamo, 115; Hermione’s Magic, Martin Garcia, 116, and Dreamt, Garrett Gomez, 115.

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