2017 Santa Margarita Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Santa Margarita Stakes comes our way this Saturday, March 18 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Fillies and mares four years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $400,000 purse when they line up and go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's dirt track.

A field of eight have been confirmed for the Santa Margarita Stakes - race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:30 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight entries for this intriguing G1 stakes.

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2017 Santa Margarita Stakes Entries at Santa Anita Park

Vale Dori - Bob Baffert trained Argentinean bred filly has seven wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 12 starts all around the world including a win in a Group 1 race at home in May, 2015, a second in the UAE Oaks and an OK fourth, 1 1/2 lengths back in the Group 2 UAE Derby at Meydan in March of 2016. She has six North American starts (five wins) and enters on an impressive three race win streak - all as favorite - the G2 Santa Maria Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths last time out on this track February 11, the G2 La Canada Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion by 2 1/2 lengths here January 14, by three lengths as 1-2 favorite in the G2 Bayakoa Handicap at Del Mar December 3. She also posted an impressive 10 1/4 length win in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita October 28. Vale Dori recorded a respectable third behind champions Stellar Wind and Beholder in the G1 Zenyatta Stakes on this track October 1, had a 3 1/2 length win in the minor Tranquility Lake Stakes at Del Mar August 31 and a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming on that track August 3 as well. Vale Dori has been a serious factor in every race so far in her career and tries for a fifth straight win (fourth straight graded stakes and first G1) Saturday from gate 2 with Rafael Bejarano guiding her.

Finest City - Eclipse Award winner as 2016 Champion Female Sprinter has placed in 11 of 15 career starts for trainer Ian Kruljac. She was last seen winning the G2 Santa Monica Stakes by an easy 3 3/4 lengths on this track February 21 after she recorded a career-best effort on the biggest stage - a win in upset fashion by three lengths in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on this track. The two wins followed an OK second in the G2 John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar September 4, a close fourth in the G2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes on that track July 16 and a respectable third behind Beholder in the G1 Vanity Mile at Santa Anita June 4. She also had a track record-setting win in the G2 Great Lady M Stakes on Los Alamitos dirt April 23, a fourth in the G3 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita March 20 and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 11. Finest City has been terrific lately, stretches out to 1 1/8 miles and chases a third straight graded stakes score Saturday. Tyler Baze has been tabbed to ride from post 3.

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Show Stealer - Art Sherman trained filly has three wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 21 career starts. She made her graded stakes debut December 3 and finished fourth in the G2 Bayakoa Handicap at Del Mar and followed that with a decent second behind Vale Dori in the G2 La Canada Stakes here January 14 and another decent second behind Vale Dori last time out in the G2 Santa Maria Stakes on this track February 11. Before that was an OK third in the minor Southern Truce Stakes at Santa Anita July 3, an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track in May and a second and a fourth respectively in another two Allowance Optional Claiming races to start last year. Show Stealer has placed in five of her last six starts ahead of this weekend and has been knocking on the door for her first stakes win. Kent Desormeaux rides from gate 4.

Autumn Flower - has just three wins and four third place finishes in 15 career starts for trainer Dan Hendricks. She made her stakes debut December 13 and finished sixth in the G2 Bayakoa Handicap at Del Mar December 3 and followed that with an OK third behind Vale Dori and Show Stealer in the G2 La Canada Stakes on this track January 14 and another third last time out - behind Vale Dori and Show Stealer again in the G2 Santa Maria Stakes here February 11. Last year she had a two race win streak - both Allowance Optional Claiming races at Santa Anita with the last coming October 16 and one coming in August. Autumn Flower has certainly been up and down in her career so far and will be out for a first stakes win Saturday from the rail with Martin Pedroza aboard.

Wild At Heart - has placed in nine of 11 career starts for trainer Richard Mandella - three wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. She arrives off a very nice win on this track in the G3 Buena Vista Stakes February 18 which followed a fourth in the G2 La Canada Stakes here January 14, a respectable runner-up finish behind Vale Dori in the G2 Bayakoa Handicap at Del Mar December 3 and a career worst effort - an eighth in the G3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes at Santa Anita November 5. She also had a decent second in the G3 LA Woman Stakes on this track October 9 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Los Alamitos September 17 and a third behind the terrific Stellar Wind in the G1 Santa Anita Oaks April 4. Outside of one bad effort four starts back, Wild At Heart has been competitive every time out. She tries for two graded stakes scores in a row Saturday with Flavien Prat in the irons from post 7.

Lady Tapit - Peter Eurton trained mare has a win and a second place finish in seven career starts. She enters off an OK fourth in the G2 Santa Maria Stakes here February 11 after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 13, a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track January 12 and a fifth in a similar race here in May. Before that was a tenth in her only stakes action to date - the G3 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April, 2015 and her only win to date - a MSW in December, 2014. Lady Tapit has been largely underwhelming so far and looks for a breakthrough performance Saturday. Mario Gutierrez will be in the saddle from post 5.

Perfect Pic - lightly raced James Cassidy trained filly has three wins, a second and a third place finish in her six career starts. She enters on a two race win streak- both Allowance Optional Claiming races in gate-to-wire fashion on this track with the last coming February 3. Before that was a disappointing sixth in the G1 La Brea Stakes on this track December 26 and a third in her graded stakes debut - the G3 LA Woman Stakes on this track in October. Perfect Pic has been good against lesser company so far and will be out for a first ever stakes score from gate 6. Santiago Gonzalez has the mount.

Estrechada - stakes winning Argentinean bred Mike Puype trained mare has placed in 11 of 16 career starts - four wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. She was last seen running a respectable second behind Goodyearforroses second in the minor Astra II February 2 after a ninth in the G2 Marathon Stakes on this track November 4 - her North American debut. She failed to place in her last two starts at home including a fifth in the Group 2 General Belgrano in June but did place in her four previous starts. Estrechada has been a tad up and down in her career and will be out to make a little North American noise from the outside gate 8 Saturday. Stewart Elliot will be in the irons.


2017 Santa Margarita Stakes Odds & Entries

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

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Autumn Flower 20-1 Martin Pedroza Dan Hendricks
2 Vale Dori (ARG) 9-5 Rafael Bejarano Bob Baffert
3 Finest City 8-5 Tyler Baze Ian Kruljac
4 Show Stealer 8-1 Kent Desormeaux Art Sherman
5 Lady Tapit 20-1 Mario Gutierrez Peter Eurton
6 Perfect Pic 5-1 Santiago Gonzalez James Cassidy
7 Wild At Heart 6-1 Flavien Prat Richard Mandella
8 Estrechada (ARG) 15-1 Stewart Elliott Mike Puype

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