Only twice since its inception back in 2004 have we seen sub 1:13 final times at the wire. Thrilled ( Dynark Stables ) would be the first in 2011, then the following year Kissed The Girl ( La Canada Racehorses ) would smoke the field in a final record time of 1:12.56. Four others would also break the 1:13 mark that day.
- Monrovia Handicap ( Gr. III )- Purse $200.000
- Santa Anita Park- For Fillies and Mares Three Years old and Up
- Five and a half Furlongs in distance- Turf Track
- Sunday May 24th, 2020.
For those of you who were paying attention, of course this season we will see a faster time then 1:13 on the clock as the event for the first time in its history has been shortened to five and a half furlongs in distance. The real question should be, could we see a sub 1:02 time? Whoever is victorious at the wire this season will be the first to capture a new event record for the distance. Looks like eight trainers will be sending out ten hopefuls to do battle this season, and here is a rundown of the competitors starting with the double entries;
First we have Maxmillion Farm who is sending out two four year olds to compete here. From the rail will be Flyin Nun, a recent C note purchase from Dom, and if you throw out her last effort at Belmont over a good surface, you could say this bay filly has almost four stakes victories with two being neck losses. Three straight events she broke from the number two hole, winning two, so the rail should be the right fit on the day. Max’s other entry Lewis Bay, takes the outside post for this event. Has two wins, three runner-up finishes and a show placing in her last six starts. Can run on either firm or soft turf, so track condition won’t play a factor. Should drop in after the start to maybe fourth, then make a charge down the lane.
What would a stakes race be without a couple of entries from Mb Stables. Dan will be sending out a lightly raced sophomore by the name of Twisted Minds and a talented four year old turf runner by the name of Repercussions. Twisted Mind ( Post 2 ) had just one start as a juvie breaking her maiden in a four length victory on the grass going five panels. Started this season with another win last month at KEE taking home the Giants Causeway Stakes by a length. Has been stabled here at SA since late April and has four strong works going five panels, her most recent in a 56 and four time. Can she go three for three? Don’t discount her out. As for Repercussions ( Post 8), four wins and two runner-up placings in her past six is quite an accomplishment. She was post time favorite in four of those six events and five of her six career wins have come on the grass. Definitely will be in the mix at the wire.
So looking at the single entries we have Royally Bred ( High Voltage ) post 3, Hollywood Greek ( Chili King Stables) post 4, Win For Red ( Establo Pichon) post 5, Red Eclipse ( Allinthegate ) post 6, Spirits Feronia ( Straight Arrow) post 7, and Dodge Challenger ( John Henry ) post 9.
Royally Bred has won three of her six starts on the turf and has yet to not finish in the top three in her past six. Won the SSM F&M Turf Sprint over this oval in her opener of the season, and at this distance. Van Dyke also returns in the irons, so the combination could very well outshine the rest.
Hollywood Greek had been racing milers up until her very last start when she went five and a half furlong to victory at CD in The Sidney. While she generally likes to close in the later fractions of a race, she will need to be alot keener near the front against this group to stay within striking distance.
Win For Red had a win and two runner-up finishes her at SA on the grass, so it was surprising that she would ship east to try the dirt going seven panels in the Gr. III Beaumont. Yes there were Oaks implications on the line, but her strength is the sod. Her return here will find some backing at windows, we can only hope that the dirt surface hasn’t hurt her in anyway.
Red Eclipse has not been able to find the winners circle since September of last season. Has competed in three straight non graded stakes with her best effort coming as a runner-up in the Wishing Well Stakes. Will have to face the winner of that event once again in this rematch, and she hasn’t worked since late April on track, so hopefully she is well rested.
Spirits Feronia is coming to this event winning her past two starts at today’s distance. Her most recent victory came in the Mizdirection Stakes here at this oval, and in a quick 1:01 and three time at the line. With rider Degadillo back at EMD, has to count on Rispoli to bring her home. If she had the services of a better rider, I would say she has a shot, but with the talent in this field, could be an uphill climb as she is sure to get bounced around throughout.
Dodge Challenger will be our final runner. She did capture the Wishing Well two starts ago over this turf surface in a sub 1:02 time. Has the best SRF number in her most recent six starts when she posted a 98 in the Gr. III Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes last season at KEE. Three victories in her past five starts is also to be noted. She has yet to race this wide from the rail in her career, but has managed to close from the back going this very distance. Could be the upsetter of the group.