Santa Barbara Stakes – Grade III
Race #7 1 1/2m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $100.000 For Fillies And Mares Three Years Old And Upward.
1 Heaven Sent Maxmillion Farm Roman E A 124
The trainer is a bit of a turf specialist, and he has managed to move this beaten $7.000 claimer into a decent black type performer. Second in the Long Island Handicap as a three year old, she ran pretty well to be third on her first start as a three year old, but hasnt done so well in her last two races. Some train on and some don’t, and at the moment, you have to be a bit suspect that she is struggling as a four year old. A good draw, and she has won at this trip, but there are too many if’s to make her an easy choice.
2 Copper Asphalt Wolfs Den Prat F 121
Claimed for just $14.000 as a two year old, she has done well since turning three winning the CA Cup Turf Sprint and the China Doll stakes both at ungraded level. Whilst the three year olds do start to dominate the fours at this time of year, I am not sure she is ready for that in receipt of just 3Lbs
3 Pip Wisdom Chili King Stables Desormeaux K J 124
This five year old has placed at this level but has a poor win record, and she may only be looking to place again here. She loves extreme trips, and so far, one and a half miles has looked like her minimum trip, so unless she can muster some early pace, we may see her just running up behind the first two at the line.
4 Feel The Thunder Mb Stables Maldonado E 124
A four year old by Commanding, she won the Goldikova Stakes at the end of last year and is favoured by today’s race conditions. Her seasonal debut was impressive when taking a SA Allowance by open air, but then she looked a little one paced in the Santa Ana when fifth to Sassy One. That was a pretty hot race, so I think she ran well, but her limitations were exposed there. This is her first try at a mile and a half, so you have to take her stamina on trust, but she looks a live winning chance dropping down in grade today.
5 Exhausted Hambletonian Stable Bejarano R 124
The winner of the ungraded Astra Stakes over this trip, she has been dirt sprinting in her last three, but seems much more at home on the turf and over a trip. She is an interesting entry, with her entries looking pretty haphazard, but I think there is some ability there, and she could use her obvious pace to get a nice position during the race.
6 Quakerce Sir Daniel Martin Baze T C 121
Last years BC Juvenile turf winner, this is a tough ask at the weights despite her obvious class. She got a mile at two, so should be alright over this mile and a half and is the clear choice on form, although my biggest worry will be that we are still in April, and she is only getting 3 Lbs from oder horses. A win here will be huge and will certainly send a message to the female turf routers looking for the BC.
7 Drop Her Off Mb Stables Talamo J 124
Another daughter of Commanding, she was fifth in the DMR Oaks and sixth in the Taylor, so obviously has a touch of class about her. The wide gate won’t help her chances, but a good optional claimer win last time will have sharpened her up, and if things go her way, she may be hard to beat.
Even with Quakerce’s obvious class and form, 3Lbs in April is not much for a three year od to be getting against older horses. Having said that, these aren’t the best older horses in the game, so she may have a chance, although the Mb pair look dangerous, and I am wary of Hambletonian’s Exhausted.