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FAVORED ROVENNA ALL OUT TO WIN $250,000 MELAIR STAKES UNDER ESPINOZA; DIZNEY HOMEBRED, TRAINED BY MACHOWSKY, WINS BY NECK
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 26, 2014)—Favored Rovenna was all-out to take Saturday’s $250,000 Melair Stakes for Golden State Series eligible 3-year-old fillies on California Gold Rush Day at Santa Anita, as the Donald Dizney homebred daughter of Vronsky held off longshot Wonderful Lie by a neck, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.86.
Trained by Mike Machowsky and ridden by Victor Espinoza, 2-1 favorite Rovenna sat a close third at the rail behind Wonderful Lie and Magic Spot, split those two leaving the half mile pole and raced head and head with Wonderful Lie around the turn and to the wire as the top pair were 5 ¼ lengths clear of Swiss Lake Yodeler at the finish.
“I was surprised that Wonderful Lie went to the lead,” said Espinoza. “…She relaxed well…She can be on the lead or come from off the pace. Especially today, going long, I wanted to save as much as possible. She’s maturing.”
In winning her third consecutive race, and her fourth overall from nine starts, Rovenna picked up $140,000, increasing her bankroll to $397,760. She paid $6.00, $3.80 and $2.80.
“She’s just game,” said Machowsky. “She does everything you ask of her. This is (running) back in three weeks and I’ve always kind of spaced her races out a little more, but this type of money, how do you pass it up?”
The longest shot in a field of seven, Wonderful Lie, ridden by Corey Nakatani, was off at 23-1 as she made her third career start and her first try at two turns.
“You know what, you can’t ask them to do any more than what she did today,” said Nakatani. “She did everything to win the race and the horse that beat her was a pretty nice filly. She gave a tremendous effort to win the race and that’s all you ask them to do…It’s a shame there’s only one winner right now.”
Wonderful Lie paid $14.40 and $5.20.
The narrow second choice at 2-1, Swiss Lake Yodeler had two horses beat after a half mile and never threatened the top two, finishing third, a neck in front of Anniversary Kitty. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Swiss Lake Yodeler paid $2.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.73, 46.33, 1:10.92 and 1:36.86.