Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes - a 6 1/2 furlong dash for fillies and mares four years and upward on Santa Anita's hillside turf track. A purse of $200,000 will be on the line.
A deep field of 10 older females will line up in the Monrovia Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's Sunday schedule. Post time is 4:00 PM. Let's take a brief look into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Kindle - returns to the track after 11 months away hoping to continue her solid form. She has 10 career starts with four wins, three seconds and a third place finish including wins in two of her last five - one coming in the Bangles and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park September 21 2012 and the other in the Cool Air Stakes at Hollywood Park November 23 over Broken Dreams. Her last action came back in January 2013 however - a third in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes on this track. Other career results include a pair of seconds - in the Grade 3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes behind Broken Dreams at Santa Anita October 20, 2012 just ahead of Byrama and in the 2012 Monrovia Stakes behind the impressive Breeders' Cup Champ January 6. She will certainly bring the speed Sunday - the question is whether or not her lack of recent action will catch up to her. Rafael Bejarano gets the call from post 2 on a track that Kindle has two starts and two second place finishes.
Pontchatrain - Thomas Proctor trained filly has been terrific in her six career starts but made a huge statement last time out with a win in her graded stakes debut - with a career best 92 Beyer Speed Figure in the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes here November 2 after a win in the minor Unzip Me Stakes in September. She has four wins and a third in her six starts and will be looking to make it three wins in a row Sunday with the legendary Gary Stevens in the saddle from post 8.
Purim's Dancer - has 11 career starts for trainer Thomas Proctor with five wins, a second and two third place finishes. She has placed in just one of three graded stakes starts in her career - a third in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas here in April but has fifths in her other two including last time out in the Grade 3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes on this track November 2. Purim's Dancer won four of her first six career starts and hopes to get back to that form. She has four wins in six tries on Santa Anita's hillside turf track and will have Joe Talamo in the saddle from gate 3 for the Monrovia.
Judy In Disguise - placed in her last three starts of 2013 - the best of which was a third behind Pontchtrain in the Grade 3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes on this track November 2. Since then she has recorded two second place finishes - the $100,000 Playa Del Rey Stakes behind Teddy's Promise last time out December 15 and an Allowance November 24. Judy in Disguise has three graded stakes starts for trainer Simon Callahan and has two third place finishes and a fifth. She looks to break through for the first time in graded stakes company Sunday. She departs from the rail with Martin Garcia aboard
Winding Way - won her first three career starts including the 2012 Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Stakes which followed an eight month layoff. She returned June 16 to a fifth in the minor Desert Stormer Handicap and followed that with another fifth in the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap July 13. She has been trending upward slightly since - a seventh in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes in October was followed by a second behind Pontchtrain in the Grade 3 Ken Maddy and a third last time out behind Golden Production in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Hollywood Park December 7. Winding Way will be ridden for the first time by Victor Espinoza from a favorable outside post.
Golden Production - will race in stakes company for the first time Sunday for trainer Peter Miller on a three race win streak - two Allowance Optional Claiming this winter at Hollywood Park and a Claiming here in October. She has four wins, four seconds and a third place finish in 10 career starts and looks very good ahead of her stakes debut.
Ciao Bella Luna - raced in graded stakes company for the first time April 14 and produced in a big way with a terrific 2 1/2 length win in the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland April 14 after five career starts and three straight minor stakes starts yielded two wins and a second place finish. She hasn't enjoyed a ton of success since - a fifth last time out in the minor Cat's Cradle Handicap November 17 followed a pair of fourths - the Grade 2 Raven Run Stake in October at Keeneland and an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks in June. She also had a decent second in the minor Railbird Stakes behind Iotapa May 19. Ciao Bella Luna has three wins and two seconds in 10 career starts and hopes to find her Beaumont for this weekend. She has just one start on grass and failed to place in that race.
Sky High Gal - John Sadler trained filly made her graded stakes debut last time out and finished a respectable fourth in the Grade 3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes here November 2 after an eighth in the minor China Doll Stakes in March. She did have a three race win streak going at this time last year including her biggest win to date - the minor Blue Norther Stakes on this track January 1. Sky High Gal has just six career starts with three wins and a second place finish and will have Corey Nakatani guiding her Sunday.
Ultrasonic - makes her North American debut Sunday after 15 career starts in Britain yielded just two wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. She did place in her last three starts - the last coming back in August when she finished third at Haydock Park.
Camryn Kate - most recently finished sixth in the Grade 3 Ken Maddy here November 2 after winning two of three Allowance Optional Claiming races prior. She has 10 career starts with three wins, a second and a third place finish and hopes for a better result in her second graded stakes start.