Santa Margarita Stakes 2016 at Santa Anita Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer - The Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes comes our way this Saturday, March 19 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. A nice purse of $500,000 will be on the line for fillies and mares four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles in Santa Anita's dirt track.

A field of seven will take to the track in the Santa Margarita Stakes - race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:30 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performance of all seven combatants for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes.

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2016 Santa Margarita Stakes Race Preview

Taris - Simon Callahan trained filly has placed in 10 of 11 career starts - seven wins, a second and two third place finishes. Last time out was a career best effort -a win by 5 1/4 lengths in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes on this track January 16 after a good win by 2 1/2 lengths in the one mile Grade 3 Go for Wand Handicap at Aqueduct November 27 and consecutive thirds - in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and in the Grade 3 LA Woman Stakes at Santa Anita October 4. Before that was a win in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Stakes August 16 and a second in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes last December. She has been terrific in her career against some top quality fields - hopes are that she continues that trend Saturday. Gary Stevens tries to keep the impressive roll going on the overwhelming favorite from the outside post 7.

Tara's Tango - Jerry Hollendorfer trained filly has nine career starts with three wins, three seconds and a third place finish. She enters off a career best effort - a win as favorite in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes here February 14 after a respectable third in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes January 23 and off-the-board finishes in her previous two starts - a fourth in the minor Kalookan Stakes here December 30 followed a tenth in the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx September 19. Before that were an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Del Mar August 5 and three straight runner-up finishes - behind Champion Stellar Wind in the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks June 20 at Santa Anita, as favorite in the minor Angels Flight Stakes May and in the minor Santa Paula Stakes April 5. Tara's Tango has been up and down in her career but off a win should be in the conversation Saturday. Rafael Bejarano gets the call from gate 2 in Tara's Tango's first try at this distance.

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Penwith - Kiaran McLaughlin trained mare has five wins, a second and two third place finishes in 13 career starts and enters off consecutive wins by a combined five lengths - by an impressive three lengths in the Grade 1 Royal Delta Stakes here February 13 and an Allowance Optional Claiming by two lengths at Santa Anita January 21. Thos results followed nearly a year away from the track. Before the layoff was a sixth in the minor Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct last February, a second in the minor Affectionately Stakes in January, 2015, a fourth in the Grade 3 Comely Stakes in November, 2014 and an OK third in the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks in October of that year. Penwith will be after her second straight graded stakes score and third straight overall when she departs from post 3 with Mike Smith aboard.

Lavender Chrissie - Dale Romans trained filly had four wins in seven career starts. She enters on the heels of a two race win streak - the minor Zia Park Oaks by three lengths last time out November 25 and an Allowance Optional Claiming October 10. Before that was a ninth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in September and an eighth in the Grade 3 Eight Belles Stakes in May - her only graded stakes start to date. Lavender Chrissie arrives in career best form and will depart from gate 4 with Victor Espinoza in the irons.

Living The Life - Irish bred synthetic specialist filly has 30 career starts with nine wins (five stakes), five seconds and three third place finishes for trainer Gary Mandella and enters off an OK third in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes here February 13. It followed a fourth in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes January 23 and a disappointing sixth in the Grade 2 Goldikova Stakes at Del Mar November 1. Before that was a win in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters (a race she won in 2014 as well), a decent second in the Grade 2 Great Lady M Stakes at Los Alamitos in July and off-the-board finishes in a pair of stakes races including a sixth in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Stakes in April. She also finished last of ten in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Living the Life has been a tad difficult to figure out but has placed in three of her last five starts overall. Flavien Prat will be in the saddle from the rail.

Moyo Honey - has six career starts for trainer Patrick Gallagher with three wins and a second place finish so far. She made her stakes debut two starts back and finished eighth in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes on this track December 26 and followed that with an Allowance Optional Claiming score here January 24. She also had an Allowance score here October 10, a tenth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar August 9 and a maiden on this track in June. Moyo Honey has looked so-so thus far and looks for her first stakes score Saturday. Drayden Van Dyke has the mounts from post 9.

All Star Bub - Jerry Hollendorfer trained filly has recorded three wins, a second and five third place finishes in 15 career starts. She has placed in three straight races ahead of this weekend - an Allowance Optional Claiming score here February 25 followed consecutive third place finishes in similar races this past winter and a sixth in her only stakes action to date - the Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes on this track in October. All Star Bub has been OK the last four months and hopes for a first stakes score from gate 7. Martin Pedroza will be in the reins.

2016 Santa Margarita Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:30 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Living The Life (IRE) 8-1 Flavien Prat Gary Mandella
2 Tara's Tango 5-2 Rafael Bejarano Jerry Hollendorfer
3 Penwith 5-2 Mike Smith Kiaran McLaughlin
4 Lavender Chrissie 10-1 Victor Espinoza Dale Romans
5 Moyo Honey 12-1 Drayden Van Dyke Patrick Gallagher
6 All Star Bub 15-1 Martin Pedroza Jerry Hollendorfer
7 Taris 8-5 Gary Stevens Simon Callaghan

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