Mandella’s Tapwater Heads Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Santa Barbara Stakes



ARCADIA, Calif. (May 5, 2021)–LNJ Foxwoods’ Tapwater heads a field of eight fillies and mares going a marathon mile and one half on turf in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Santa Barbara Stakes at Santa Anita.  Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Tapwater will be making her second career graded stakes appearance.


Trainer Michael McCarthy’s recent allowance winner Go Big Blue Nation will also be making her second stakes appearance and will command considerable attention with turf ace Umberto Rispoli aboard for the first time and McCarthy’s Rideforthecause, a Grade II winner in Canada this past September, could also figure prominently as the leading money earner in the field.


A 5-year-old mare by Tapit, out of the Indian Charlie mare Fiji Moon, Tapwater was most recently fourth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by highly respected Charmaine’s Mia going one mile on turf in the Grade II Royal Heroine Stakes here on April 3.  A sharp classified allowance winner going a mile on grass two starts back on Feb. 12 with Flavien Prat, she’ll be reunited with the meet’s leading man on Saturday and will be stretching out off of six consecutive races at one mile.


Tapwater, who will be making her third start of the year, brings an overall mark of 9-3-2-0 and earnings of $154,940.


Owned by Cannon Thoroughbreds, LLC, Go Big Blue Nation flew late under apprentice Alexis Centeno to win a second condition allowance on April 4 at a mile and one quarter on turf by a half length and will hope to employ similar tactics when ridden by Rispoli for the first time on Saturday.  Claimed out of a maiden $75,000 win eight starts back on Jan. 12, 2020, Go Big Blue Nation, a 4-year-old filly by Animal Kingdom, earned a career best 87 Beyer Speed figure and rates a huge chance stretching out a quarter of a mile.


Trained in Canada by Gail Cox, Rideforthecause was an even sixth, beaten 2 ½ lengths by multiple graded stakes winner Mucho Unusual in her first start for McCarthy, the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes at a mile one eighth on turf Dec. 27.  Subsequently seventh, beaten seven lengths in an even effort by Charmaine’s Mia in the Grade II Royal Heroine, Rideforthecause will be ridden for the second time in a row by Mario Gutierrez.


A winner of the Grade II Canadian at a mile and one eighth over the Woodbine turf four starts back on Sept. 12, Rideforthecause was subsequently fourth as the 5-2 favorite in Woodbine’s Grade I E.P. Taylor Stakes Oct. 18 and will hope to regain her Canadian form in the Santa Barbara.


Phil D’Amato’s Carpe Vinum, a close third to Go Big Blue Nation April 4, pressed the pace and was fifth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths two starts back going a mile and one half on turf in the Grade III Astra Stakes Jan. 17 and thus rates a solid chance in what will be her third start of the meet.  Owned by MyRacehorse and Joey Platts, Carpe Vinum, a 4-year-old daughter of Carpe Diem, will be ridden for the third consecutive time by Jose Valdivia, Jr.




Race 7 of 9  Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT


  1. Catch the Eye–Kent Desormeaux–122
  2. Rideforthecause–Mario Gutierrez–124
  3. Tapwater–Flavien Prat–122
  4. Carpe Vinum–Jose Valdivia, Jr.–122
  5. Star of Africa–Abel Cedillo–122
  6. Neige Blanche–Juan Hernandez–124
  7. Go Big Blue Nation–Umberto Rispoli–122
  8. Dynapower–Cesar Ortega–122

First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m.  For additional information, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.