Santa Monica Stakes 2016 at Santa Anita Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes comes our way this Saturday, January 23 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Fillies and mares four years old and upward will take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race seven furlongs searching for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.

Nine older females have been confirmed for the Santa Monica Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all nine combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.

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2016 Santa Monica Stakes Race Preview

Prize Exhibit - British bred James Cassidy trained filly finished fourth in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and has been up and down since. She posted two nice wins early in the summer - the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes in June and the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes on this track in July. She went on to a respectable third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August and a second in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes in September. She struggled in her next two starts - a seventh in the Grade 1 QE II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 10 was followed by a sixth in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar November 29. Last time out was a huge bounceback effort however - a win at 7-1 odds in the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes on Santa Anita turf January 3. Prize Exhibit looks as though she is over her mini-slump and will be out to build on a terrific win last time out - in her first ever start on dirt - from the rail with Santiago Gonzalez in the irons.

Ben's Duchess - John Sadler trained filly has hit the board in nine of 10 career starts - four wins, a second and four third place finishes. Her only blemish came last time out - a fourth in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes on this track December 26. Before that was a good win in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 LA Woman Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths with a career best 100 Beyer Speed Figure here October 4, a second in her stakes debut - the minor C.E.R.F Stakes at Del Mar September 6 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in August. Ben's Duchess has been competitive every time out and hopes to be again Saturday from gate 4. Joe Talamo will be in charge of getting Ben's Duchess back into the win column.

Living the Life - Irish bred synthetic specialist filly has 28 career starts with nine wins, five seconds and two third place finishes for trainer Gary Mandella and enters off 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 two of her last three starts overall. That said she hopes to bounce back from an ugly effort last time out with Flavien Prat in the saddle from post 7.

Room for Me - raced in graded stakes company for the first time May 16 and finished a good second in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park . She has been OK since - a third last time out to Champion La Verdad in the minor Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct January 9 followed a good win on that same track in the minor Garland of Roses Stakes December 15. Before that was a fourth in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap September 26, a third in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes August 29, a nice win in the minor Regret Stakes at Monmouth Park August 1 and a fourth in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap June 20. Room for Me also had three straight wins by a combined 27 1/4 lengths to start her year. She now has nine wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 22 career starts and has placed in four of her last six overall. Room for Me looks for her first graded stakes score from gate 6 Saturday with Martin Garcia in the reins.

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Tara's Tango - Jerry Hollendorfer trained filly has seven career starts with two wins and three runner-up finishes. She has failed to place in her last two starts - a fourth last time out 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. Her other win was a maiden score in track record time over Del Mar synthetic Polytrack. Tara's Tango had been knocking on the door of her first stakes win before her last two efforts but will look to bounce back from post 5 with Mike Smith aboard.

Finest City - has placed in four of six career starts for trainer Ian Kruljac. Last time out was a somewhat disappointing sixth in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes here December 26. It followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Los Alamitos December 3, a win in a similar race at Del Mar October 31, a fourth in the minor Unzip Me Stakes here in September and a maiden score at Del Mar in August. Finest City hopes to place in stakes company for the first time in her third try Saturday - from post 9 with Corey Nakatani guiding her.

Kiss At Midnight - Richard Baltas trained filly makes her graded stakes debut Saturday having posted four wins, five seconds and two third place finishes in her 11 starts so far. She enters on the heels of three straight runner-up finishes in minor stakes action - the Kalookan Stakes last time out here December 30, the Betty Grable Stakes at Del Mar November 8 and the California Distaff Handicap on this track in October. She has hit the board in every career starts including a win in the minor Fleet Treat Stakes in July and looks ready for her step up in competition. Gary Stevens has been tabbed to ride from post 3.

Lost Bus - has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 10 career starts for trainer Gary Sherlock and races in graded stakes company for the first time Saturday. Last time out was a third behind Kiss At Midnight in the minor Kalookan Queen Stakes here December 30 which followed a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming December 13 and four straight off-the-board finishes. Lost Bus has been OK so far in her career but could be in tough in her step up in competition. Fernando Hernandez Perez gets the call from gate 4.

Kyriaki - has 18 career starts for trainer Peter Eurton with just four wins and three third place finishes. She was third in the 2013 Grade 3 Senorita Stakes but has failed to place in three graded stakes starts since. Last time out was a nice win in the minor Treasure Chest Stakes at Delta Downs November 21 which followed an eighth in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes here in September and two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores this past summer. Kyriaki has won three of her last four starts, enters in career best form but hopes to finally show up in graded stakes company. Mario Gutierrez has been tabbed to ride from gate 8.

2016 Santa Monica Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:00 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Prize Exhibit (GB) Santiago Gonzalez James Cassidy
2 Ben's Duchess Joseph Talamo John Sadler
3 Kiss At Midnight Gary Stevens Richard Baltas
4 Lost Bus Fernando Perez Gary Sherlock
5 Tara's Tango Mike Smith Jerry Hollendorfer
6 Room for Me Martin Garcia David Jacobson
7 Living The Life (IRE) Flavien Prat Gary Mandella
8 Kyriaki Mario Gutierrez Peter Eurton
9 Finest City Corey Nakatani Ian Kruljac

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