MARCKIE’S WATER & ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR TANGLE AGAIN IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 CHARLES WHITTINGHAM STAKES AT 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF
CALIFORNIA-BRED TANDEM LOOM LARGE IN RACE THAT HONORS ‘BALD EAGLE’
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 23, 2019)–Separated by one length when last they met, talented California-breds Marckie’s Water and Ashleyluvssugar will square off again in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes at a mile and one quarter over the Santa Anita turf.
Trained by Richard Baltas, Marckie’s Water rallied to win a mile and one eighth turf allowance by a half-length here on April 28 and at age five, will be seeking his first graded stakes win.
Although winless in his last 11 starts dating back to a victory in the 2017 Whittingham, 8-year-old Ashleyluvssugar, a multiple stakes winning earner of more than $1.4 million, pressed the pace and stayed gamely to be third, beaten one length by Marckie’s Water on April 28 and will hope to win his third Whittingham Stakes on Saturday with veteran Brice Blanc back aboard.
Named for the legendary late Hall of Fame trainer, Saturday’s Charles Whittingham honors a true American racing icon. Known affectionately as the “Bald Eagle,” Charlie Whittingham, who died at the age of 86 on April 20, 1999, won the race’s precursor, the Hollywood Invitational Handicap, a record seven times, beginning in 1970 with Fidle Isle and ending in 1987, with Rivlia.
Owner: Little Red Feather Racing & Norman Tavares
Trainer: Richard Baltas
A winner of five out of his 17 career starts, this 5-year-old full horse by Tribal Rule will be making his fourth graded stakes appearance on Saturday. A close fourth in the Grade II, mile and one half Hollywood Turf Cup four starts back at Del Mar on Nov. 23, 2018, he was ridden for the first time by Tiago Pereira in his April 28 allowance win and appears at the peak of his powers, as his 93 Beyer Speed figure nearly matched his career best of 94, which he achieved in the Hollywood Turf Cup. A winner of one of his two starts at a mile and one quarter on turf, Marckie’s Water looks like the horse to beat.
Owner: Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable & Ciaglia Racing, LLC Trainer: Peter Eurton
Managed to perfection over seven racing seasons by Eurton, this 8-year-old Game Plan gelding seeks his third win in the Whittingham, his first coming at the tender age of four in 2015. Attentive to the pace under Blanc in his most recent start, look for “Ashley” to be on or near the lead Saturday as he bids for his third win from four tries at a mile and one quarter on turf. A five-time graded stakes winner, Ashleyluvssugar is 33-10-6-5 overall, with earnings of $1,446,583.
THE GRADE II CHARLES WHITTINGHAM WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 10 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
- Prime Attraction–Kent Desormeaux–121
- Morse Code–Edwin Maldonado–121
- Marckie’s Water–Tiago Pereira–121
- Ya Gotta Wanna–Aaron Gryder–121
- United–Flavien Prat–121
- Tizzarunner–Drayden Van Dyke–121
- Ashleyluvssugar–Brice Blanc–121
First post time for a 10-race card that will also include the Grade II Triple Bend Stakes and the Grade III Daytona Stakes, is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.