IRISH-BRED LITTLE BIRD SINGS WINNING TUNE IN TAKING $57,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS AS ROSARIO & BALTAS TEAM FOR MILE ON TURF IN 1:35.47
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 31. 2020)–Sixth in her U.S. debut at the same distance, Irish-bred Little Bird broke sharply and got a perfect trip under Joel Rosario en route to 1 ¼ length score in Friday’s $57,000 Santa Anita allowance feature. Trained by Richard Baltas, Little Bird got a flat mile on turf in 1:35.47.
Breaking from the rail in a field of six sophomore fillies, Little Bird settled nicely in fourth position about four lengths off the lead while saving ground around the first turn. Sensing some pressure from her outside, Little Bird picked it up leaving the half mile pole, slid out to the three path heading into the far turn and was in full flight while four-deep under a powerful hand ride turning for home.
“She didn’t break well her first time here (when sixth, beaten 4 ¾ lengths in the Blue Norther Stakes on turf), so we were hoping to break sharply today and then get her covered up,” said Baltas. “Joel does such a great job. She got to looking around a little bit when she made the lead, but he kept her focused.”
With two wins from four starts in her native Ireland, Little Bird, who was off at 21-1 in the Blue Norther, was the second choice in the wagering today at 2-1 and paid $6.20, $3.60 and $2.60.
“I liked where we were at going into the first turn,” said Rosario, who rode Little Bird for the first time today and registered his third win on the day. “She was really running at the top of the stretch and I just had to keep her focused the last part.”
Owned by Next Wave Racing, Richard Baltas and Ritchie Robershaw, Little Bird picked up $34,200 for the win, increasing her earnings to $43,723.
With a solid pace to run at, Madame Bourbon rallied from last early to outfinish Carpe Vinum for the place. Off at 15-1 with Drayden Van Dyke, Madame Bourbon paid $9.80 and $5.00.
Attentive to the pace throughout, Carpe Vinum finished three quarters of a length in front of pacesetter Blue Sky Baby and paid $2.80 to show with Abel Cedillo up.
Fractions on the race were 23.43, 47.55, 1:11.48 and 1:23.42.
With a hat trick today, Rosario is now atop the Winter Meet standings with 22 wins, four up on Abel Cedillo.
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.