No Problems for Tenrikyo in Santa Maria Stakes

Santa Maria Stakes (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
May 30, 2020

Last year was a great one for Tenrikyo, winning the KYO, and then finishing second in the BC Distaff six months later. Everything seemed to be going great for her, so it was a little peculiar that she would not race again for four months, and only in late April would she even return to the graded ranks. While no one would deny that this was a great filly, some had to wonder why it took so long for her to run in a graded stake again. Only her trainer, Smokey Stover, knows the answer to that, but on Saturday she was able to return to the winners circle for the first time since last September. It marks the second time that Smokey Stover has won the race, as he was also able to do so in 2017 with Shake It Off. V Espinoza is the winning rider, and it is his first such win in the race. The time of the victory was 1:41.84, one of the better times in the race’s history. Let’s take a look!

(1/4 Mile- :23.76)- Bursting out of the starting gate from her outside post, Winning Link Stables’ Hollywood Sister takes the early advantage and looks like she might start opening up before she is held back from doing so. She would end up having some company at the front after a quarter mile, and that would be from our eventual winner, Smokey Stover’s Tenrikyo. She’d only be a half length from the front. In the third position is Scarlet And Gray, from Nakamura Stables, who would break sharply but did not continue a push for the lead. To her outside would be Puddle Jumper, from Mb Stables. Behind them, spread four across the track, is the rest of the field. From inside to outside, this consisted of True Talent (Northern Acre Stable), High On Haggis (Winning Link Stables), Fabulous Angelina (Allinthegate), and Nude Beach (Aer Stables).

(½ Mile- :47.73)- As we make our way down the backstretch, Tenrikyo and Hollywood Sister go at one another on the front end, but they get some more company as Puddle Jumper leaps forward to join them. Tenrikyo has a nose in front at this point, and has a good position on the rail as they start to approach the turn. There was a gap of three lengths to Nude Beach, who moved into the fourth position. Running to her inside was the big longshot, True Talent. Next in line was the very interesting Scarlet And Gray at this point in the race. After her initial good break, she seemed like she was only going to be slightly restrained in the backstretch, but then A Cedillo held her back even more, dropping her back all the way towards the rear, and forcing some horses to react and adjust their lanes for this awkward looking move, especially for this stage of the race. High On Haggis was next, and trailing is Fabulous Angelina, who was impacted most by the drop back of Scarlet And Gray.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Rounding the turn and entering the top of the stretch, the battle at the front is getting very interesting between Tenrikyo and Hollywood Sister. The former KYO champion continues to be handling the track very well and looking very comfortable, but Hollywood Sister is not going away at all and keeps with right with her, and they are neck and neck as the enter the stretch. Puddle Jumper is trying to hang with them, and remains within half a length. Nude Beach inches a little closer, now two and a half lengths from the leaders. True Talent held her lane, but if she had more in the tank, it was time to show it. Scarlet And Gray, High On Haggis, and Fabulous Angelina were at the back, and within five lengths.

(Finish- 1:41.84)- A fascinating stretch run occurs as Tenrikyo and Hollywood Sister continue to match strides with one another, something that it seems like they did for most of this entire race. It was anyone’s guess who was going to win, but at the wire, it would be Tenrikyo holding on and getting a good looking win over a valiant runner up in Hollywood Sister. Puddle Jumper hung on well, but a big push by both Nude Beach and even True Talent made it very close between these five horses. Nude Beach gets third by a nose over Puddle Jumper, who does the same to True Talent. High On Haggis and Fabulous Angelina are next, and within two lengths. Last is Scarlet And Gray, who simply had a weird trip.

About The Winner- Tenrikyo, trained by Smokey Stover, and ridden to victory by V Espinoza, is a four year old filly by Grandeur, and is out of Set Sail. She was bred in Florida by Smokey Stover as a second quarter two year old, and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her sixth in 15 starts and her fourth stake win, all of which are graded. Her career earnings are now $1,905.000.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Tenrikyo Smokey Stover Espinoza V 6.15   1nk 1:41.84  
  Hollywood Sister Winning Link Stables Velez J I 7.80   2hd 1:41.91  
  Nude Beach Aer Stables Franco G 3.40   3hd 1:41.95  
  Puddle Jumper Mb Stables Fuentes Ru 6.80   4hd 1:41.99  
  True Talent Northern Acre Stable Pereira T J 81.40   51/2 1:42.02  
  High On Haggis Winning Link Stables Van Dyke D 5.45   61/2 1:42.15  
  Fabulous Angelina Allinthegate Smith M E 3.40   71 1:42.29  
  Scarlet And Gray Nakamura Stables Cedillo A 4.60   8 1:42.60  

Track: Fast

Time: :233  :473  1:11   1:414

$2 Mutuel Prices:

2 – Tenrikyo 14.30 7.60 4.50
8 – Hollywood Sister   8.80 5.70
7 – Nude Beach     3.50

$1 Exacta: 2 – 8 Paid 40.20

$1 Trifecta: 2 – 8 – 7 Paid 443.50

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: