Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Dave Bond
Updated: March 15, 2012 -- 1:42 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV -- The 75th running of the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes comes our way this Saturday March 17th from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. A field of six quality entries will chase the $300,000 purse over 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's main dirt track.

The Santa Margarita is Santa Anita's feature race Saturday and is the 2012 highlight for fillies and mares four years old and upward. It comes our way in race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule with a post time of 4:07 PM PST.

Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes Race Favorites

Ellafitz - Ellafitz has been on quite a roll winning three straight - the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes on February 18th, the Pasadena Handicap at Santa Anita on January 15th and the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on December 4th. Bob Baffert will be looking for his first Santa Margarita win and Hall of Fame Trainer and Rider Martin Garcia will be in the saddle. Failure seems unlikely with the momentum and the team that Ellafitz possesses as she chases her first Grade 1 victory.

Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes betting at Santa Anita Park with OffTrackBetting.com

Include Me Out - will act as Ellafitz's main competition on Saturday. Most recently posted an impressive 4 ½ length victory in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes on January 22nd and before that raced in the competitive La Brea Stakes at this track and finished fifth. Include Me Out will race around two turns for the second time - the first being her win in the La Canada. She has been impressive but has she been good enough to slow the late-blooming sizzling Ellafitz?

Remaining Field Entries

Miss Mittagong - most recently finished in a dead heat for second at the Santa Maria Stakes on February 18th and before that was third at the Grade 2 Robert J. Frankel Stakes on New Year's Day. Miss Mittagong also has a second in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in December. Joel Rosario will be on board Miss Mittagong Saturday.

Love Theway Youare - has three of fourth place finishes in her last three outings - at the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes on February 18th, the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes and the Grade 2 Bayakoa Stakes.

Kayce Ace - actually holds a win over Ellafitz in an allowance race at Hollywood Park last spring. Last time out Kayce Ace was seventh in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes on February 18th and before that was fourth in the Pasadena Handicap in January. Joe Talamo will be aboard Kayce Ace on Saturday.

Awesomemundo - Bob Baffert's other entry takes a big step up in competition in her first stakes race after a win and a third place finish in her last two times out in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races.


Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes Entries

Race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:07 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer
1 Miss Mittagong M. Gutierrez B. Cecil
2 Love Theway Youare J. Rosario M. Cho
3 Kayce Ace V. Espinoza E. Harty
4 Ellafitz M. Garcia B. Baffert
5 Include Me Out J. Talamo R. Ellis
6 Awesomemundo M. Smith B. Baffert

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