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OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Santa Maria Stakes will be run Saturday, February 11 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Fillies and mares four years old and upward will take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's portion of the $200,000 purse.
Six older females will give it a go in the Santa Maria Stakes - race 4 on Santa Anita's busy Saturday card. Post time is 2:00 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all six combatants for this G2 stakes - some of which have tried and failed against Vale Dori in the past.
Vale Dori - Bob Baffert trained Argentinean bred filly has six wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 11 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 (four wins) and enters on a nice three race win streak - all as favorite - the G2 La Canada Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion by 2 1/2 lengths here last time out January 14, by three lengths as 1-2 favorite in the G2 Bayakoa Handicap at Del Mar December 3 and an impressive 10 1/4 length win in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita October 28. She also had a respectable third behind champions Stellar Wind and Beholder in the G1 Zenyatta Stakes on this track October 1, 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. Vale Dori has been a serious factor in every race so far in her career and is expected to be again Saturday. 5. Mike Smith has been tabbed to ride from the outside gate 6.
Show Stealer - Art Sherman trained filly has three wins, three seconds and three third place finishes in 20 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 most recently behind Vale Dori in the G2 La Canada Stakes here January 14. 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 four of her last five starts ahead of this weekend and enters in OK form. She tries for a first stakes win with Tyler Baze in the irons from post 5.
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Sheer Pleasure - multiple stakes winning Phil D'Amato trained mare has 14 career starts with four wins, three runner-ups and a third place finish. She enters off an OK third behind the terrific Finest City in the G2 Santa Monica Stakes here January 21 which followed a disappointing sixth in the minor Fran's Valentine Stakes on this track May 28, a second in the G3 Adoration Stakes here May 8 and one of her wins - the minor Dream of Summer Stakes on this track March 27. She also had a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming March 8 and a couple of off-the-board finishes before that. She won the minor Melair and Evening Jewel Stakes on this track in 2015. Sheer Pleasure has been up and down in her career and will be searching for a first graded stakes score from gate 4 Saturday with Martin Garcia guiding her.
Midnight Toast - lightly raced James Cassidy trained filly will hit the track for just the fourth time Saturday having posted two wins in her three starts so far. She steps into stakes company for the first time off an Allowance Optional Claiming score here January 14, a maiden score at Los Alamitos December 16 and a tenth in her debut - on this track in May. Midnight Toast has been good recently against lesser company and hopes her success translates in open company. Jamie Theriot has been tabbed to ride from the rail.
Autumn Flower - has just three wins and three third place finishes in 14 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. Before that was 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 with Flavien Prat aboard from the outside post 3.
Lady Tapit - Peter Eurton trained mare has a win and a second place finish in six career starts. She enters off 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 as if she will be in over her head in this one. Mario Gutierrez will try to get Lady Tapit her first stakes win from gate 2.
Race 4 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:59 PM.
|1||Midnight Toast||12-1||Jamie Theriot||James Cassidy|
|2||Lady Tapit||30-1||Mario Gutierrez||Peter Eurton|
|3||Autumn Flower||20-1||Flavien Prat||Dan Hendricks|
|4||Sheer Pleasure||5-1||Martin Garcia||Philip D'Amato|
|5||Show Stealer||6-1||Tyler Baze||Art Sherman|
|6||Vale Dori (ARG)||1-5||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
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