TANDA RUNS AWAY WITH GRADE III SANTA PAULA IN RECORD TIME

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 28, 2010) – At 5-1 the longest shot in a field of five, Tanda burst through an opening along the rail under jockey Alex Solis to run away from her better fancied competition Sunday in Santa Anita’s 25th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Paula Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.

Tanda’s eye-catching stretch move propelled her to a 4 ¼-length victory over La Nez while her final time of 1:14.36 did away with the former stakes record of 1:14.61 set by Magnificence in 2007. Sister Dawn, the 2-1 favorite, finished a neck behind La Nez.

It was the third victory in five starts for the Florida-bred daughter of Sweetsouthernsaint trained by Dan Hendricks for Tommy Hutton’s Dream Stable, and her first win on a surface other than turf.

“The way she won today, against this type of competition, is amazing,” said Solis. “I know there were only five horses, but they were very good horses. She won very easy, and she came back like she didn’t even run. I know she’s been running on grass, but I thought she would be able to adapt to the surface. She is a very classy filly.”

Tanda paid $13.80, $5.20 and $2.60. La Nez, the 5-2 second choice with Mike Smith aboard, paid $3.80 and $2.60. Sister Dawn, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, returned $2.60 to show.

Hendricks said he had some concern about the surface switch. Tanda had finished a troubled fifth in her maiden debut over Santa Anita’s main track. “But now all those worries are gone,” he said.

Hendricks thanked David Ingordo, who was responsible for picking out Tanda at the April 2009 Ocala Breeders Sale. She was purchased for $145,000.

“David did a super job finding her out of a thousand horses,” said Hendricks. “I owe it all to him and the owner, Bob (Hutton). He was very patient.”

The trainer wasn’t sure what might be next for Tanda, but indicated she might be tried routing for the first time. “I think she’ll go on, off of this race,” said Hendricks, “and I’m not worried about surface or distance now.”

The Santa Paula’s winning purse of $60,000 elevated the bay filly’s earnings to $127,710.

After dark days on Monday and Tuesday, racing resumes on Wednesday with an eight-race card that gets underway at 1 p.m. The five-day race week is highlighted by Saturday’s 73rd running of the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby.

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