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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• ALWAYS A PRINCESS, HARMONIOUS WORK FOR LA CAŇADA
• RACHEL CONQUEROR ZARDANA IN SATURDAY’S SANTA MARIA
‘PRINCESS,’ HARMONIOUS DRILL FOR LA CAŇADA STAKES
Always a Princess and Harmonious both worked over Santa Anita’s main track Sunday morning in preparation for likely starts in the Grade II, $150,000 La Caňada Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles a week from today.
Always a Princess went five furlongs in :58.60 for Bob Baffert, while Harmonious went the same distance in 1:00 for John Shirreffs.
“She’ll probably go in the La Caňada,” Baffert said of Always a Princess, who upset champion Blind Luck in the El Encino Stakes and who also is nominated to next Saturday’s Santa Maria Stakes.
“If she runs, she’ll probably run in the La Canada,” Baffert said. “Today she finally woke up from her win in the El Encino. But I released my jockey (Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard in the El Encino, rides Blind Luck in the La Caňada), so I’m looking for a rider.”
“I got her in a minute and change,” Shirreffs said of Harmonious, who would be making only her first start on traditional dirt. The 4-year-old Dynaformer filly finished fifth on Hollywood Park’s synthetic Cushion Track in her debut, and has raced seven straight times on turf since.
ESPINOZA HOPES FOR BETTER LUCK ON ZARDANA
If she accomplishes nothing else in her racing career, Zardana will go down in history as having upset 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. That occurred last March 10 at the Fair Grounds, when Zardana and David Flores outdueled Rachel Alexandra through the stretch to win the New Orleans Ladies Handicap by three-quarters of a length at odds of 9-1.
On Saturday, the 7-year-old mare owned by Arnold Zetcher and trained by John Shirreffs seeks her first victory at Santa Anita when she runs in the Grade II, $150,000 Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile and one sixteenth. Victor Espinoza, who has ridden the Brazilian-bred mare in her last three races, is hoping for better luck aboard her this time around.
Zardana had traffic problems in her last two starts, when she finished ninth in the Grade I Spinster at Keeneland Oct. 10, and third in the Grade II Bayakoa at Hollywood Park Dec. 5. “She’s a nice filly,” said Espinoza, who had two stakes wins on her in 2009. “She always tries. Last time I had nowhere to go. I got stuck in behind horses. It was one of those things. I was trying to save ground and I got stuck and it was a little bit too late when I got out.”
The Bayakoa was Zardana’s first start in nearly two months. Espinoza feels she’ll benefit from that outing.
“She should be sharper for this race,” he said. “John knows how to train his horses to get ready for the race, so I’m not worried about anything. I think she’ll be OK.”
Probable for the Santa Maria: Miss Match, Garrett Gomez; St Trinians, Joe Talamo; Vision in Gold, no rider; Washington Bridge, no rider; and Zardana, Espinoza.
FINISH LINES: Sir Beaufort winner Sidney’s Candy worked five furlongs under Joel Rosario on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 1:01.20 for the Kilroe Mile on March 5. “He’s right on schedule for the Kilroe,” John Sadler said. “He’ll have three or four more works before the race. The spacing should be good.” . . . Bob Baffert says Norfolk Stakes winner Jaycito is training steadily, but the trainer did not reveal where the Triple Crown hopeful would make his next start . . . Trainer Marty Jones has Arcadia Stakes and Sensational Star Handicap winner Compari breezing at Hollywood Park and hopes to have the turf specialist ready for a race at Santa Anita before the meet ends on April 17 . . . Santa Anita is dark Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Racing resumes Thursday at 1 p.m.