Sassy One Struts Her Stuff in Santa Ana

Santa Ana Stakes (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
March 18, 2018

Three weeks ago, Smokey Stover purchased a talented four year old filly named Sassy One for $300.000 from D J C Racing Stables. It did not take long for that purchase to begin to pay off, as the filly made her way to the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes and defeated the reigning BC Fillies and Mares Turf champion, Good Line, in the process. This was not an upset though, as Sassy One did look like a top contender in this field, and was made our second choice. She ran a smart race, and while Good Line looked strong at the front and led for most of the race, Sassy One would make the pass for the win, which is the tenth of her career. Smokey Stover is the proud winning trainer, and he earns his first career win in the stake. That is also true for her jockey, J Talamo. Meanwhile, In Z Balance, looking to defend her Santa Ana title was never able to get involved this time around. The time of the victory was 1:45.53, and you can put that in the books as the new record for this race. Let’s take a look at it!

(1/2 Mile- :46.56)- The race begins with Good Line, from Mb Stables, and Changing, from Hambletonian Stables being the quickest out of the gate. Changing, feeling the push from her outside post, takes the lead in the frontstretch, but eventually relinquishes it to Good Line while rounding the first turn. Good Line heads into the backstretch with the lead of almost a full length on Changing. Others in this field seemed to start more conservatively. Battling for third in a three wide formation would be Feel The Thunder (Mb Stables), Miss Darna (Maxmillion Farm) and In Z Balance (Diablo Diablo), and they were three lengths off the lead. Another length and a half back we had another three wide pair, with Sassy One having a head in front of this group while running in the outside lane for Smokey Stover. Hide N Seek Pup (Gdp Inc) and Minnesotalus (The Sidley Stud) were also involved here. At the back, Jaxartosaurus (Chili King Stables) and I Billieve (Sharis Stables) had seven lengths to make up.

(3/4 Mile- 1:09.65)- Good Line was looking sharp on the front end, cruising along at a graceful pace as she began to pull away from Changing, as that one could not keep up with her. The three who had been battling for third continued to do so, and they had to move over a lane in order to get by Changing. They were still three lengths behind Good Line. Behind them, Sassy One was looking to leave the two she was running wide, and sought to position herself for a five wide move around the turn. Hide N Seek Pup and Minnesotalus did not have as clear of a lane to make such a move at this time. Jaxartosaurus and I Billieve continued to race at the back.

(Top Of Stretch- 1.5F To Go)- Good Line continued to show the way around the track, and was not facing any pressure around the turn. E Maldonado continued to keep her tight to the rail, and his BC Champion still was in full stride. Meanwhile, Sassy One was trying to make the wide trip around the turn work, and it wasn’t easy for her to get by those that she needed too. However, at the top of the stretch, she had emerged with the second position, and had cut the gap to just under two lengths. She had time to make a run at Good Line, for sure. Meanwhile, Changing hung tough a little more then expected around most of the turn, before beginning to drop out. Feel The Thunder and Miss Darna, the two that had been close to the front were still in striking range, but neither had any gain on Good Line, and had now been passed by Sassy One. In Z Balance was looking for room while Hide N Seek Pup looked like she may get boxed in. Minnesotalus was lacking stretch response. Jaxartosaurus pulled a length ahead of I Billieve, but that was about it.

(Finish- 1:45.53)- In the stretch, Sassy One was by far the best. She hit her full stride, and easily passed Good Line and was drawing away at the end. I was impressed, also, by how she was continuing to extend that advantage all the way to the wire as she truly lives up to her name today! Good Line finishes second, and had a steady run to the end, but was unable to respond to the challenge of Sassy One. Things cleared out better then had been anticipated for Hide N Seek Pup, and she runs well in the stretch to get up for third, getting a head on Miss Darna, and Feel The Thunder was within a length of them as well. In Z Balance is unable to repeat, and finishes sixth, ahead of Jaxartosaurus who started running way too late. Minnesotalus lacked stretch response, and Charging tired out to finish ninth. I Billieve never got out of the huddle.

About The Winner: Sassy One, trained by Smokey Stover and ridden to victory by J Talamo, is a four year old filly by Jail Bait, and out of Strike Accord. She was bred in New York as a second quarter two year old by D J C Racing Stables, and was acquired three weeks ago by Smokey Stover via a $300.000 private sales transaction. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her tenth in 17 starts, her second consecutive, and her sixth stake win, four of which are graded. Her career earnings are now $908.010.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Sassy One Smokey Stover Talamo J 5.35   11 1:45.53  
  Good Line Mb Stables Maldonado E 1.95   21 1:45.80  
  Hide N Seek Pup Gdp Inc Prat F 9.60   3nk 1:46.00  
  Miss Darna Maxmillion Farm Gutierrez Mario 5.65   41/2 1:46.07  
  Feel The Thunder Mb Stables Bejarano R 4.10   51 1:46.18  
  In Z Balance Diablo Diablo Arroyo N Jr 13.40   6nk 1:46.39  
  Jaxartosaurus Chili King Stables Desormeaux K J 35.00   71 1:46.46  
  Minnesotalus The Sidley Stud Baze T C 9.10   81/2 1:46.67  
  Changing Hambletonian Stable Smith M E 71.85   92 1:46.80  
  I Billieve Sharis Stables Nakatani C S 27.90   10 1:47.28  

Track: Firm

Time: :462  1:093  1:333  1:452

$2 Mutuel Prices:

8 – Sassy One 12.70 4.90 3.80
7 – Good Line   3.20 3.10
1 – Hide N Seek Pup     3.50

$1 Exacta: 8 – 7 Paid 23.20

$1 Trifecta: 8 – 7 – 1 Paid 66.70

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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