Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita

Dave Bond
Updated: February 16, 2012 -- 1:15 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV -- One of the oldest graded stakes races on American soil writes another chapter on Saturday when the 60th running of the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes takes place at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. A strong field of seven Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward will take to Santa Anita's main track and cover a distance of 1 1/16 miles in pursuit of the $200,000 purse.

The Santa Maria Stakes is the eighth race on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule with a post time of 4:07 PM PST. Defending champion Vision in Gold will have her hands full with a horse that has won two in a row: Ellafitz, who beat Vision in Gold last time out.

Below is a breakdown of all seven entries and a glimpse into their past performances.

The Contenders:

Ellafitz - Ellafitz has been on quite a roll with wins in the Pasadena Handicap at Santa Anita on January 15th and the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on December 4th. Bob Baffert trains Ellafitz 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.

Santa Maria Stakes horse betting at Santa Anita with OffTrackBetting.com

Vision in Gold - Vision in Gold is the defending champion in this event but will race for only the second time in just under a year. She finished third at the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational in March of last year, endured some time off and returned January 15th with a rather disappointing 6th place finish at the Pasadena Handicap.

Great Hot - Brazilian-bred Great Hot comes into the Santa Maria running well but not quite tasting victory. She finished second last time out in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes on January 22nd and before that finished third at the Grade 3 La Brea Stakes on New Year's Eve - both at Santa Anita. Great Hot may be due for a victory.

The Others:

Spirit Seeker - Spirit Seeker is another horse that took part in the Pasadena Handicap on January 15th finishing third. Before that she won an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita on December 30th.

Miss Mittagong - most recently finished third at the Grade 2 Robert J. Frankel Stakes on New Year's Day and before that was 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 a pair of fourth place finishes in her last two outings - the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes and the Grade 2 Bayakoa Stakes.

Kayce Ace - Rafael Bejarano will be ride Kayce Ace after a fourth place finish in the Pasadena Handicap in January and an eighth in the Osunitas Stakes at Del Mar back in July.

The Santa Maria Stakes is Race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:07 PM PT.

Post

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Spirit Seeker

R. Bejarano

D. O'Neill

2

Ellafitz

M. Garcia

B. Baffert

3

Miss Mittagong

M. Gutierrez

B. Cecil

4

Love Theway Youare

A. Quinonez

M. Cho

5

Kayce Ace

J. Talamo

E. Harty

6

Great Hot

C. Sutherland

A. Avila

7

Vision in Gold

J. Rosario

R. Ellis

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