COZI ROSIE HEADS FIELD OF SIX IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II SANTA BARBARA AS SANTA ANITA BEGINS FINAL WEEKEND OF SEASON; REGALLY READY TOPS GRADE III SAN SIMEON

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2011) – Cozi Rosie, who came back running from a nine-month layoff to win the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap on Feb. 21, is the 121-pound high weight and likely favorite Saturday among six entrants in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

The 63rd running of the Santa Barbara, coupled with the Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs on turf, head a 10-race program that opens the final weekend of the Santa Anita meet that began on Dec. 26. The season closes on Sunday with the historic Grade II, $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at 1 ¾ miles on turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2011) – Cozi Rosie, who came back running from a nine-month layoff to win the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap on Feb. 21, is the 121-pound high weight and likely favorite Saturday among six entrants in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

The 63rd running of the Santa Barbara, coupled with the Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs on turf, head a 10-race program that opens the final weekend of the Santa Anita meet that began on Dec. 26. The season closes on Sunday with the historic Grade II, $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at 1 ¾ miles on turf.

Jockey Mike Smith has the return call aboard Cozi Rosie, who mowed down her opposition by 1 ¼-lengths in the Buena Vista at one mile. The 4-year-old Pleasantly Perfect filly had been sidelined, according to trainer John Sadler, because “she went off last year and we weren’t happy with her.”

Her comeback showing, at odds of 5-1, clearly delighted owners Jerry and Ann Moss as well as Sadler. Smith was effusive. “She ran dynamite,” said the Hall of Famer. “I’m telling you, she has an abundance of talent. To be honest, I haven’t been around her in the morning, but I’m sure glad I was on her today. She has so much room to improve. I don’t know how many gears she has. But she only used a couple of them today.”

The Santa Barbara, which none of Cozi Rosie’s connections have ever won, will mark the first try at the classic distance by the Mosses’ homebred. But she closed strongly to just miss catching Evening Jewel in Hollywood Park’s Grade II Honeymoon Handicap last May at 1 1/8 miles. Both Sadler and Smith believe the extra eighth should suit her well. Cozi Rosie comes into the Santa Barbara with earnings of $247,280 from a 4-1-1 record in 9 starts.

Her opposition includes Malibu Pier and Turning Top, the one-two finishers in the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles over Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course on March 19. In the Santa Ana, Malibu Pier displayed her gameness by relinquishing her early lead to Lilly Fa Pootz before re-rallying to hold off Turning Top by one length.

Carla Gaines, who trains Malibu Pier for the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes, said she was not alarmed when her chestnut filly surrendered the lead under jockey Rafael Bejarano. “She was going so easy, Rafael was just giving her a breather,” commented Gaines. “She showed me a big kick,” Bejarano noted.

The homebred 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, who will be making her first start at 1 ¼ miles, rallied for third behind Cozi Rosie as the 3-1 favorite in the Buena Vista. Her record is 4-1-1 from 8 starts for earnings of $252,200. Brice Blanc will be aboard on Saturday. Malibu Pier was weighted at 119 pounds.

Turning Top, who closed well for second in the Santa Ana, is proven at the Santa Barbara distance. The 5-year-old Irish-bred mare won Hollywood Park’s Grade III Beverly Hills Handicap at 1 ¼ miles last June. She was second by one length to Hibaayeb in Oak Tree’s Grade I Yellow Ribbon at the distance In October.

Bejarano has accepted the mount on Turning Top, who was assigned 118 pounds. Trained by Simon Callaghan for Michael B. Tabor, the daughter of Pivotal has posted a 6-3-4 mark in 20 career starts while earning $274,943.

The complete field for the Santa Barbara Handicap, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Cozi Rosie, Mike Smith, 121; Malibu Pier, Brice Blanc, 119; Calle Vista, Martin Pedroza, 116; Andina, Victor Espinoza, 115; Restless Soul, Alonso Quinonez, 114, and Turning Top, Rafael Bejarano, 118.

The sharp Regally Ready, trained by Steve Asmussen for Vinery Stables, heads six entrants in the San Simeon. The 4-year-old gelding, high weighted at 120 pounds, seeks his third straight victory over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.

After winning 2 of his first 7 races, the son of More Than Ready was transferred to turf where he has captured 3 of his last 4 starts. Most recently, he took the Joe Hernandez Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths over the course on March 18. With Corey Nakatani out of town after guiding Regally Ready to his last two wins, Smith takes over in the saddle. Regally Ready shows earnings of $237,978 from a 5-2-3 record in 11 career starts.

Second high weight at 119 pounds is the comebacking Compari, who has been on the sidelines since setting the pace into the stretch, but fading to fifth in last July’s Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles.

Trained by Marty Jones for Harris Farms, John Nicoletti and Don Valpredo, Compari won his only previous start over Santa Anita’s downhill layout when victorious in the $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap on Jan. 1 of last year. A winner of $432,640 from 6 wins in 9 career starts, Compari has taken 5 of 6 on turf. Alonso Quinonez rides.

Supreme Summit, a fast-closing fourth in the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint last November at Churchill Downs, will make his turf debut in the San Simeon. An earner of $353,100 from a 3-3-1 record in 14 races, he will be ridden by Bejarano at 118 pounds.

A 5-year-old son of Cactus Ridge trained by Mike Puype for the Joseph Lacombe Stable, Supreme Summit was unable to handle a wet surface in the Grade II San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs on Feb. 19, his only start since the Breeders’ Cup.

The complete field for the San Simeon Handicap, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Supreme Summit, Bejarano, 118; Camp Victory, Joseph Talamo, 114; Regally Ready, Smith, 120; Gallant Son, Victor Espinoza, 116; Victory Pete, Chantal Sutherland, 116, and Compari, Quinonez, 119.

The Santa Barbara is scheduled as the ninth race with the San Simeon going as the third. First post on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.

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