Santa Anita News
MAY DAY ROSE HAS THEFT ON HER MIND IN SUNDAY’S GRADE III SANTA YSABEL STAKES FOR 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 6, 2011) – If Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has his way, May Day Rose will pose an elusive front-running target in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. If she’s able to get to the front early, the Florida-bred daughter of Rockport Harbor ought to be difficult to catch.
May Day Rose figures to be solidly favored in a compact field of five set to contest the 44th running of the Santa Ysabel, which has been carded as the third race on a nine-race program with first post at 12:30 p.m.
Owner Kaleem Shah’s $220,000 purchase is the only stakes winner in the Santa Ysabel lineup, having run off with Hollywood Park’s $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes by 4 ¼ lengths in November. Baffert had expected another front-running effort in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 11, but May Day Rose never made it to the front seat.
Dispatched at odds of 7-2, May Day Rose could make little impression chasing Starlet pacesetter Nine Fever. She settled for fourth as West Coast filly divisional leader Turbulent Descent came from off the pace to maintain her unbeaten record.
“She (May Day Rose) should have been on the lead,” Baffert told Daily Racing Form. “I was disappointed with that. She’s got to be on the lead. That’s her style, and I’m not going to change it.”
Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who rode May Day Rose for the first time in the Starlet, can be expected to oblige on Sunday. May Day Rose enters the Santa Ysabel with earnings of $124,555 from a 2-1-0 record in four races.
Her prime opposition is expected to come from Zazu, who was most recently fifth, beaten five lengths in the Hollywood Starlet and a 1 ¾ lengths behind May Day Rose. Trained by John Sadler for Jerry and Ann Moss, the roan filly finished 1 ½ lengths behind Turbulent Descent two starts back, when she was second in Hollywood Park’s $100,000 Moccasin Stakes on Nov. 21.
Ridden by Mike Smith in her last three starts, Zazu will be ridden for the first time by Joe Talamo on Sunday. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit has posted a record of 1-2-0 in four starts for earnings of $60,985.
The remaining three Santa Ysabel starters each have a maiden victory to their credit. Baffert entered Plum Pretty, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who scored as the favorite in her racing debut at six furlongs on Oct. 27 at Hollywood Park. She is owned by Peachtree Stable and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
The complete field for the Santa Ysabel Stakes, with jockeys in post position order (each entrant carries 118 pounds): Bluegrass Chatter, Joel Rosario; Scarlet Starlet, Martin Pedroza; Zazu, Joseph Talamo; May Day Rose, Rafael Bejarano, and Plum Pretty, Garrett Gomez.