SANTA MARIA WINNER ST TRINIANS TO TACKLE BOYS IN GR. I SANTA ANITA HANDICAP

St Trinians, an impressive 1 ¾ lengths winner of Saturday’s Gr. II Santa Maria Handicap, will not face champion Zenyatta, as originally planned, in the Gr. I, $250,000 Santa Margarita Handicap on March 13, and will instead take on the boys in the Gr. I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 6.

“Vic (Stauffer, agent for jockey Joel Rosario) called me right after the race Saturday and pointed out that we’d be running for three times the money and we wouldn’t have to face Zenyatta,” said trainer Mike Mitchell. “Looking at it, I think Zenyatta would probably be about 6-5 if she ran in the Big ’Cap, so why face her (in the Santa Margarita) for a third of the money? My mare is really good right now and it looks like some of the big shooters, like Quality Road and Gio Ponti, won’t be here for the Big ’Cap.

“The only negative is that the Big ’Cap is one week earlier, but we think it’s enough time. She came out of the race really good and the way she’s been finishing in her races here, I don’t think the mile and a quarter is going to be a problem. If you look at her races in England, she faced colts five times and she won three of them. I know it was at lesser tracks (Wolverhampton and Southwell), but she did it in big fields.

“I spoke with Dr. (Dan) Capen (owner) and we’d like to look at the weights. I’d have to think we’d pack three more pounds if we ran against Zenyatta, but if we go to the Big ’Cap, we’d get the three pound sex allowance and I think that’s important going that distance. We’ll look at the weights, but I’d say we’re pretty much definite for the Big ’Cap.

“Beyond that, we’re going to keep her on synthetic. We would not consider the Apple Blossom ($5 million, April 9) because she’s going to stay on the synthetic.”

The English-bred St Trinians is undefeated in four stateside starts for Mitchell. Her record now stands at 7-0-3 from 11 starts. With the Santa Maria winner’s share of $150,000, her career earnings now stand at $268,587.