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HIGHLY REGARDED PARRANDA RUNS TO NOTICES & WINS GRADE III WILSHIRE STAKES; BEJARANO & HOLLENDORFER TEAM FOR 1 ½ LENGTH WIN
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 27, 2014)—In her first start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, highly regarded Parranda rated kindly under Rafael Bejarano and swept three-wide turning for home to win Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes by 1 ½ lengths, covering a flat mile on turf in 1:33.48.
Off as the second choice at 2-1 in a field of six fillies and mares three and up, Parranda had one horse beat into and around the Club House turn as favored Theatre Star and longshot Journey On dueled on the lead.
“She broke really good, but those two fillies were going pretty fast, so I covered my horse up and she was real comfortable with that,” said Bejarano. “I saw the favorite move passing the half mile pole, so I moved then too. I wanted to apply a little pressure going past the three eighths and we stayed clear and she really came running.”
Owned by G. Campbell, D. Clark, Gatto Racing, LLC, Hollendorfer and G. Skoda, Parranda, a 5-year-old mare by English Channel, paid $6.40, $3.40 and $2.40.
A Grade III stakes winner on turf, Parranda had been idle since running sixth in the Grade II, one mile turf Honey Fox Stakes on March 15 at Gulfstream Park. She notched her ninth win from 22 starts on Sunday, and with the winner’s share of $60,000, increased her earnings to $512,655.
“She’s really blossomed since she got here,” said Hollendorfer. “Some horses don’t like the Florida weather and her coat has really brightened here. She’s won a lot of races, so we knew she was a good mare. This was a pretty good bunch (of horses) today and we’ll look at the Gamely (Grade I, $400,000 on May 26) next at a mile and one eighth.”
Third with Victor Espinoza up around the Club House turn, Moone’s My Name was shuffled back to fifth at the rail with five sixteenths of a mile to run, angled out for room a furlong out and closed well to finish second, three quarters of a length in front of Premier Steps.
“The winner moved a little early going into the (far) turn but I waited because my filly has a short run,” said Espinoza. “She ran big.”
The third choice at 5-2, Moone’s My Name paid $3.80 and $2.80.
Irish-bred Premier Steps, trained by Tom Proctor and ridden by Mike Smith, was taken in-hand out of the gate and was last with a quarter mile to run. Angled out wide by Smith at the top of the lane, she edged stable mate Theatre Star for the show, finishing a half length in front of her.
Premier Steps paid $3.00 to show.
Ridden by Gary Stevens and the actual favorite at 2-1, Theatre Star was menaced early by Journey On and tired an eighth of a mile out after setting fractions of 22.80, 45.98, 1:09.69 and 1:21.48.
Live racing returns to Santa Anita on Thursday with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m. Santa Anita’s gates will open early at 7:15 a.m. for simulcast action from Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day, Friday, and on Derby Day, Saturday. First live race post time at Santa Anita on Friday is 12:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.