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LADY OF SHAMROCK HOPES FOR A CLEAN BREAK & BETTER LUCK IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II SANTA BARBARA HANDICAP, SADLER TRAINEE TOPS FIELD OF SEVEN OLDER FILLIES AND MARES ENGAGED TO GO 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 17, 2013)—Lady of Shamrock, a troubled second at even money in her most recent start, will hope for better luck in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap, as she heads a field of seven older fillies and mares committed to run 1 ¼ miles on turf.
Trained by John Sadler and owned by Hronis Racing LLC, Lady of Shamrock broke awkwardly from the rail in the Grade II Santa Ana Handicap on March 24 and finished with a rush to be beaten one length by the highly regarded Tiz Flirtatious at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
A winner of the Grade I, 1 ¼ miles (turf) American Oaks in July and the Grade I Del Mar Oaks in August, Lady of Shamrock is a deep closer who would benefit from a fast early pace on Saturday. She is one for two lifetime at the Santa Barbara distance.
The Santa Ana was her first start since running a close fifth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 2.
“She ran a great race, her first race back,” said regular rider Mike Smith following the Santa Ana. “If she had a race under her belt, I probably would have ridden her a little differently myself, but I didn’t. It’s a long year and we just wanted a good race and that’s what we got.”
Ridden in her last four starts by Smith, she’ll be handled for the first time by leading jockey Rafael Bejarano, as Smith rides at Keeneland on Saturday.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Scat Daddy, Lady of Shamrock has a stellar record of 12-6-2-1 and earnings of $735,400.
With the exception of Lady of Shamrock, the complete field for Saturday’s Santa Barbara Handicap from the rail out is as follows:
THE ONLY KEY
A 7-year-old English-bred mare, The Only Key is the elder distaffer in the Santa Barbara and she comes off an eye-catching allowance score from well off the pace going 1 ¼ miles on April 5 under Kevin Krigger, who rides her back on Saturday.
A 3 ¼ length winner, her victory was so emphatic that trainer Dean Greenman initially said he would point The Only Key to the Grade II San Juan Capistrano Handicap against males on April 21.
Although class may be a question, her win was emphatic and her credentials are impressive, as she is 13-3-1-3 lifetime at the Santa Barbara distance.
Owned by former Santa Anita President Ron Charles, The Only Key is a minor stakes winner in England and will be making her sixth stateside start on Saturday. She has earnings of $97,443 from an overall mark of 22-5-2-4.
This 5-year-old English-bred mare was a game nose winner of an allowance race going one mile on turf March 29—her first start since June 16, 2012. A minor stakes winner in England, she was third in the Grade II Marjorie L. Everett Stakes on May 19 and was subsequently a well beaten fourth in the Grade I Vanity Handicap June 16.
Trained by Peter Miller and owned by Brous Stable or Wachtel Stable, she gets a new rider in Corey Nakatani, who rode her at Santa Anita in her U.S. debut on Jan. 1, 2012.
Ridden by Garrett Gomez in her March 29 win, she was mid-pack early and made a stout rail run through the lane. With a record of 20-5-5-4, she has earnings of $155,858. The Santa Barbara will be her first try at 1 ¼ miles.
With Gary Stevens away to ride in Kentucky, David Flores will get his first shot with this Patrick Biancone trainee. Fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths by Tiz Flirtatious in the Santa Ana March 24, this 4-year-old filly by Whywhywhy had no apparent excuses at odds of 17-1.
Although she broke her maiden in gate to wire fashion going a mile on turf in Oct. 2011, her best recent races now have been from off the pace.
Owned by Robert Trussell, Long Face will be trying 1 ¼ miles for the first time in the Santa Barbara. Her overall mark stands at 11-3-1-0, with earnings of $136,090.
Trained by Art Sherman, this lightly raced 4-year-old is on the improve, as she comes off an authoritative 2 ¼ length allowance win at one mile on turf March 16. Second, beaten a head from way off the pace going a mile on turf Feb. 16, she sat much closer in her win March 16.
Owned by George Krikorian, Double Ante, a Kentucky-bred filly by Purim, was ridden by Victor Espinoza in her March 16 score, but will be handled for the first time by Tyler Baze in the Santa Barbara.
Her record stands at 7-2-2-1, with earnings of $107,480.
A lightly raced 4-year-old filly bred in Argentina, Viva Carina is in sharp form and has the advantage of having a recent win over the course at the Santa Barbara distance. Third, beaten a half length going a mile in her last start on March 29, Viva Carina made every pole a winning one in a mile and a quarter turf allowance on Feb. 15.
Trained by A.C. Avila and owned by Coudelaria Jessica, Viva Carina is 8-2-1-1, with earnings of $115,420. She’ll be ridden back by Victor Espinoza, who has been aboard for her last two starts.
MOONE’S MY NAME
Moone’s My Name, a 5-year-old English-bred mare, joins Lady of Shamrock as the second John Sadler trainee in Saturday’s Santa Barbara and she rates a legitimate chance based on her solid second place finish in her U.S. debut, the one mile turf American Beauty Stakes April 7. Idle since Nov. 1 in England , she earned a Beyer Speed figure of 90, which matches her stablemate’s Santa Ana effort—giving the twosome best last-out Santa Barbara “Beyer’s.”
A multiple stakes winner in England, she sat next to last early in the five-horse American Beauty and came running to be beaten a neck. Ridden by Garrett Gomez April 7, she’ll be handled for the first time on Saturday by Joe Talamo.
Owned by the Batchelor Family Trust or Judi Partridge, Moone’s My Name will try 1 ¼ miles for the first time on Saturday. Her overall record stands at 18-6-3-4 and she has earnings of $100,933.
The complete field for the Santa Barbara, to be run as the fourth on a nine-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: The Only Key, Kevin Krigger, 114; Caelis, Corey Nakatani, 117; Long Face, David Flores, 116; Lady of Shamrock, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Double Ante, Tyler Baze, 114; Viva Carina, Victor Espinoza, 115, and Moone’s My Name, Joe Talamo, 117.
Saturday is also Fan Appreciation Day at Santa Anita. The Great Race Place will also present the Grade III San Simeon Handicap, for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course. The San Simeon has been carded as the eighth race.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.