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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INVADOR MARKS MINE FIGURES PROMINENTLY IN SATURDAY’S $125,000 SPRING FEVER STAKES; SPECHT TRAINEE DRAWS RAIL IN SIX FURLONG AFFAIR FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED FILLIES & MARES
RACE IS ONE OF FIVE STAKES CARDED ON CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 23, 2014)—Multiple stakes winning Marks Mine heads a field of eight older fillies and mares bred or sired in California in Saturday’s $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes at six furlongs. Trained by Steve Specht, the 4-year-old filly by Benchmark comes off an authoritative half length win as the even money favorite in the six furlong Camilla Urso Stakes March 15 at Golden Gate Fields.
Owned by her breeders, Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams, Marks Mine has an impressive resume that includes seven wins, two seconds and a third from 10 starts at six furlongs and she is 16-8-4-2 overall. The leading money earner in the field, she has banked $363,854.
Marks Mine will be handled from the rail by regular rider Frank Alvarado, who was aboard for a five furlong drill at Golden Gate on Sunday in 1:00.40—sixth fastest of 70 drills at the distance.
Trainer Craig Lewis is hoping his Warren’s Veneda will come back running after finishing third in the Grade II Bayakoa Stakes at Hollywood Park Dec. 7. An impressive one mile allowance winner at Santa Anita three starts back Oct. 13, the 4-year-old filly by Affirmative has proven effective routing but will try six furlongs for the first time Saturday.
A game winner versus state-breds two starts back in the 7 ½ furlong Cat’s Cradle Handicap Nov. 17, she is 11-5-1-3 overall with earnings of $300,064. Owned and bred by Benjamin Warren, Warren’s Veneda will be ridden by Joe Talamo, who has won three races with her from six tries.
Joe Parker’s homebred Our Pure Creation is on a roll for trainer Jeff Bonde, as the 4-year-old daughter of Pure Prize comes off a 3 ½ length allowance score at six furlongs April 3 and she’ll seek her third consecutive win Saturday. With two wins and a second from three starts at six furlongs, she’s 9-4-1-1 overall with earnings of $170,668.
Idle since running seventh in the 1 1/16 miles turf Osunitas Stakes at Del Mar July 20, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds homebred Top Kisser will try natural dirt for the first time in her ninth career start. She’s routed on turf in her last seven outs, but has the advantage of breaking from the outside post position eight with Corey Nakatani.
Nick Alexander’s homebred Sudden Sunday comes off a gate to wire, 3 ¼ length allowance win at Golden Gate April 5 and will hope to spring a mild upset under Victor Espinoza. A 5-year-old mare by Bertrando, she’s 13-4-3-1 overall and is trained by Steve Miyadi.
Could Be Trouble shortens up after finishing a well beaten third by highly regarded Halo Dolly going a mile on March 23 and will hope to be in a stalking position going to the far turn with Martin Garcia up for trainer Peter Miller. Owned by Altamira Racing Stable, Gary and Cecil Barber and Adam Wachtel, the 4-year-old filly by Ministers Wild Cat has four wins, as second and a third from 11 tries.
The complete field for the Spring Fever Stakes, to be run as the seventh race on an 11-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Marks Mine, Frank Alvarado, 121; Could Be Trouble, Martin Garcia, 119; Sudden Sunday, Victor Espinoza, 119; Yes She’s Unusual, Tyler Baze, 119; Quizzical, Drayden Van Dyke, 119; Our Pure Creation, Rafael Bejarano, 121; Warren’s Veneda, Joe Talamo, 123, and Top Kisser, Corey Nakatani, 119.
First post time on Saturday, California Gold Rush Day, is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.