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OffTrackBetting.com - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the G2 Santa Monica Stakes on Saturday, January 21. A purse of $200,000 will be on the line for fillies and mares four years old and upward willing to take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race seven furlongs.
A compact field of just five will line up in the Santa Monica Stakes - race 5 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 2:30 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all five combatants for this intriguing G2 stakes.
Finest City - defending runner-up in this race has placed in 10 of 14 career starts for trainer Ian Kruljac. She was last seen recording a career-best effort on the biggest stage - a win by three lengths in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at this distance on this track. It followed an OK second in the G2 John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar September 4, a 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. Before that was 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. Off a terrific win and having posted three bullet works since the Breeders' Cup, Finest City is expected to be the one to beat again Saturday with Mike Smith in the saddle from the rail.
Fantastic Style - Doug O'Neill trained mare has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 10 career starts - competitive virtually every time out. She enters off a career worst effort however - a fifth as 1-2 favorite behind Bad Ju Ju in the minor Kalookan Queen Stakes here - beaten by 12 lengths after tiring badly December 30. It followed a third in the minor Skipcat Stakes at Pimlico in May, a second in the G2 Great Lady M Stakes and a good win in the Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita March 20 - that result after 10 months away. Before that was a good win in the 2015 Great Lady M Stakes score by 3 1/2 lengths, a good win by 3 1/4 lengths in the minor Angels Flight Stakes at Santa Anita May 16 and an OK third in the G2 Beaumont Stakes in April at Keeneland. She has been competitive almost every time out and will be out for a strong bounce back from gate 4 Saturday. Rafael Bejarano will be in the irons.
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Bad Ju Ju - has seven wins, a second and four third place finishes in 17 career starts for trainer Peter Miller. She makes her graded stakes debut Saturday in very good form - three straight wins ahead of this weekend. Last time out was in the minor Kalookan Queen Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths here December 30 after two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores in November. Bad Ju Ju arrives in career best form and hopes to make some noise in her step up in competition. Norberto Arroyo has been tabbed to ride from gate 2.
Dr. Fager's Gal - Jerry Hollendorfer trained mare has three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 17 career starts. She has failed to place in her last two starts ahead of this weekend - a fourth last time out in the minor Kalookan Queen Stakes here December 30 followed a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar December 3. She placed in three of her four previous starts however including a third in the minor Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga in August and a second in the minor Saylorville Stakes at Prairie Meadows in June. She did win the minor Beverley J. Lewis Stakes at Los Alamitos in September, 2015 but also had a fifth in her only graded stakes action to date - the G2 Great Lady M. Stakes at Los Alamitos in April. Dr. Fager's Girl has been OK in her career but will need a special effort Saturday to claim her first graded stakes score. Flavien Prat gets the call from post 3.
Sheer Pleasure - multiple stakes winning Phil D'Amato trained mare has 13 career starts with four wins and three runner-up finishes. She enters off a disappointing sixth in the minor Fran's Valentine Stakes on this track May 28 which followed 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. It followed a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming March 8 and a couple of off-the-board finishes. She also won the minor Melair and Evening Jewel Stakes on this track in 2015. Sheer Pleasure had been trending upward but will be looking to avenge a poor outing last time out with Martin Garcia guiding her from post 5.
Race 5 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:29 PM.
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