Santa Ysabel Stakes (KYO) (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
March 3, 2018
The purse may be small, with just $100.000 on the line. That would make the race a minor graded affair that would be well lost in the shadows of other graded races on a Saturday. However, what the Santa Ysabel is really all about is those 50 KYO points are there for the race winner. That’s the same amount of points as the Busher (ungraded stake) and Davona Dale which are running elsewhere on this day, but have double the purse. Last year’s winner, Eastern Sky, proved to be a non-factor in the KYO. Not all Santa Ysabel winners have attempted the KYO, and most who have ended up in the middle of the field. You have to go all the way back to 2005 to find the best finisher of a Santa Ysabel race in the KYO, when Shorelines Hope was third in KYO. Perhaps this year will be different, but first we need to get a winner out of this strong field of eleven. Here they are!
#1- Niagra Mrs (Oval Express Farms, ridden by E R Da Silva)- One thing we know about Niagra Mrs for certain is that she has outstanding pedigree as while her sire is obvious, she also out of the mare that produced Bombastic Kathology. Other then that, Niagra Mrs is stepping up in class following a promising second place finish in the Silverbulletday Stakes. Or maybe this isn’t really a step up in class, as despite being graded its for less of a purse. Its important for her to do well here, regardless.
#2- Truly Deeply Madly (Jive Inc., ridden by F Prat)- The trainer looks to show that he has more then just La Terrifiant in his arsenal within this division. This filly probably has a little work to do, though, as she just finally broke her maiden in her seventh start, and takes the step up here. I’m fine with that, but I am not sure if the work times are going to be enough to get it done, unless she has incredible stretch desire.
#3- Fortune Tune (Aml Racing, ridden by C S Nakatani)- There are five horses in this field that are coming out of the Las Virgenes that was contested right here last month. The winner of the race, Ivanka, is not one of them, but other top finishers, including Fortune Tune, who was third, are here. Looking back at it, there was a four way photo four second place, and Fortune Tune ran a smart stalking trip throughout the race. Still looking for her first stake win overall, but should be a strong threat here.
#4- Nice Az (Estero Farms, ridden by M E Smith)- Took part in the BC Juvenile Fillies last November while running in Aer Stables silks, and while not being a factor there, she then finished second in the Grade 1 Starlet. This made Estero Farms look to tap into the potential of Nice Az by acquiring in private sales for $425.000 twelve days later. They’ve had one race together, a disappointing seventh place effort in the Busanda. She’ll need to do a lot better here.
#5- Im Working On It (Mb Stables, ridden by V Espinoza)- Ran against four of her rivals here today in the Las Virgenes, and will need to be a little better in the stretch in comparison to them in this race if she wants to have a chance. To do this, the trainer calls on the winning jockey from that race, V Espinoza, and will look for the type of run that Ivanka had here last month. After starting her career with two wins, she hasn’t had that big result yet, but the trainer will be working on changing that.
#6- Jokes On You (Mb Stables, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- She’s run against her stablemate a couple times, including in the DED Princess last year, a race that she won. She built on that nicely in the Las Virgenes, and was much better then Im Working On It in the stretch of that race. Jokes On You was towards the rear of the field heading into the stretch, and came up very strong, getting to be a part of the four way photo for second. Once that was decided, she was placed fourth. It might not be that much longer of a distance for her, but based on how she ran last month, it may be just enough.
#7- Molly Magne (Gdp Inc., ridden by E A Roman)- Winner of two out of eight in her career, and is also coming out of the Las Virgenes. Heading into that race, I was a little concerned that she might be inconsistent, due to her DED Princess run, but no longer do I have that concern. In the Las Virgenes, she was fantastic, beating everyone but Ivanka in the stretch, and prevailing in that four way photo for the second position. That required a lot of heart, and I think a run like that can win this race.
#8- Moon Condo (Hambletonian Stable, ridden by N Arroyo Jr)- Since being acquired in the September auction, Moon Condo has been a regular participant in ungraded stakes, winning one of them but typically always being near the front. Only about three weeks ago, though, did she stretch out over a mile for the first time, and she’d end up third in the $150.000 Suncoast at TAM. She’s usually off the pace a bit, and I can see others here looking to do the same thing.
#9- Shatterbox (Wolfs Den, ridden by G Franco)- Makes the 12th start of her career in this race, and will be looking to pick up her third win. So far, she has yet to enter the winners circle for Wolfs Den, who claimed her in August. She’s been 0-for-7 in mostly allowance company, with about half of those starts coming on the grass. The work times look and seem really good, but she needs to show she is more then just a high-80’s SRF horse on race day. This would be a good time to start!
#10- Dashing Throughout (Toppedout, ridden by T C Baze)- Start number 16 already for this filly, and if she is going to have any success here, it can’t be like start fifteen. That was the Las Virgenes, where she was dashing early, but did not dash throughout, and tired significantly in the stretch. This allowed the four rivals from that race that she sees again to get by her pretty easily. Something has to change, because she has to run even longer here. Maybe a little less dashing early, to be dashing later.
#11- Charleys Delite (Pan Farms, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- On the outside, Charleys Delite looks to overcome what has been a monumental chore in races like this, and to win a race like this with a double digit number on the saddlecloth. She’s also new to this level, breaking her maiden in her last start, which was her third coming at, well, it came at TUP. Beautiful pedigree on this one, being by Charley Farley, and out of $3,300+ earner, Sinissippi Delite. Success in her blood, so I’ll be looking for her in her next race, which is hopefully out of a better post. In the meantime, this experience should be good.