Idle Five Months, McCarthy’s Queen Goddess Tops Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Goldikova Stakes
IDLE FIVE MONTHS, MCCARTHY’S QUEEN GODDESS TOPS SUNDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 GOLDIKOVA STAKES AT ONE MILE ON TURF
AUTUMN MEET EARLY 1ST POST TIME AT 12 NOON WITH MANDATORY PAYOUTS IN ALL EXOTICS
ARCADIA, CA (Nov. 1, 2023)—Idle since finishing third in top company here on May 29, trainer Michael McCarthy’s Queen Goddess looks plenty tough off the bench versus five rivals going one mile on turf in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Goldikova Stakes at Santa Anita.
Beaten one length as the 4-5 favorite going a mile and one eighth on turf in the Grade I Gamely Stakes May 29, Queen Goddess is a two-time graded stakes winner over the Santa Anita lawn, winning the Grade III Robert J. Frankel at a mile and one eighth four starts back on Dec. 31 and the Grade III Santa Ana six races back on March 22, 2022.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber, Queen Goddess will likely show plenty of early zip off the bench and will be ridden again by Luis Saez, who guided her to her biggest payday—a 1 ½ length win in the Grade III Pegasus World Classic Filly & Mare Turf Invitational three starts back on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream.
Queen Goddess who has amassed earnings of $817,080, is a 5-year-old mare by Empire Maker out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Royal Story, is 13-6-2-2, with five of her wins coming on turf.
A runaway ungraded stakes winner in her most recent start at Pimlico Race Course, Maryland invader Full Count Felicia will cut back in distance a furlong and would appear to rate a huge chance in what will be her first start in Southern California.
Trained by Brittany Russell and owned by Al Gold’s Gold Square, LLC, Full Count Felicia, a 4-year-old filly by War Chant, earned a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure in her Sept. 16 stakes score, which followed a 2 ¼ length allowance win at Colonial Downs Aug. 19.
With a win and a second from three tries at one mile on turf, Full Count Felicia, who is out of the Galileo mare Claire de Lune is 12-4-2-1 with earnings of $226,226 and will be ridden back by Russell’s husband, Sheldon Russell.
Although she went gate to wire in her most recent win, Full Count Felicia has proven effective from off the pace as well, as she rallied for victory on three other occasions.
Harris Farms’ homebred Closing Remarks, a 5-year-old California-bred mare by Vronsky, won a pair of Grade II turf stakes this past summer at Del Mar, the mile and one eighth John C. Mabee on Sept. 9 and the mile and one sixteenth Yellow Ribbon Handicap Aug. 12.
A Grade II winner at one mile on turf, Closing Remarks, who is trained by Carla Gaines and will be ridden back by Juan Hernandez, rates a big look in the Goldikova as she tries to build upon a year that has seen her win three Grade II stakes and bank $408,500.
With an overall mark of 23-6-5-4, she has earnings of $879,320.
THE GRADE II GOLDIKOVA WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 6 of 10 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
- Closing Remarks—Juan Hernandez—126
- Lucky Girl—Joe Bravo—122
- Eddie’s New Dream—Mario Gutierrez—122
- Hamwood Flier—Flavien Prat—122
- Full Count Felicia—Sheldon Russell--122
- Queen Goddess—Luis Saez—124
With both the Grade III Autumn Miss and the Grade II Goldikova Stakes highlighting Sunday’s 10-race card, fans are advised there will be early first post time on Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet closing day card at 12 noon, along with mandatory payouts in all exotic wagers. Admission gates will open at 10 a.m.