Santa Anita Park - Irish-bred Plein Air will hope to replicate her dazzling U.S. debut on January 14 as she heads a field of six fillies and mares three and up in Saturday's Grade III, $100,000 Santa Barbara Stakes at a mile and one half over the Santa Anita turf.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Tyler Baze, Plein Air made every pole a winning one in the mile and one half turf Astra Stakes and will likely employ similar tactics in her second Santa Anita start.
Prominent among five rivals is fellow Irish-bred Pantsonfire, who is one of three Richard Baltas-trained distaffers in the Santa Barbara. A winner of two out of her last three starts here with the recently departed Rajiv Maragh aboard, she'll be ridden on Saturday by Corey Nakatani.
2018 Santa Barbara Stakes Odds & Entries
Race 4 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:35 PM
|1||Lucy De||3-1||Kent Desormeaux||Richard Baltas|
|2||Pantsonfire (IRE)||2-1||Corey Nakatani||Richard Baltas|
|3||Queen Blossom (IRE)||8-1||Flavien Prat||Richard Baltas|
|4||Causeforcommotion||6-1||Geovanni Franco||J. Kruljac|
|5||Space Cadet||12-1||Franklin Ceballos||Richard Baltas|
|6||Plein Air (IRE)||8-5||Tyler Baze||Bob Baffert|
Owner: Sunny Brook Stables, LLC
Trainer: Bob Baffert
With a sharp resume that included seven wins from 10 starts in Italy, Plein Air, although she was dispatched at 7-1, was ridden confidently by Baze in the Astra as he rationed her considerable speed to perfection in prevailing by three quarters of a length over the well-accomplished Evo Campo, and by 2 ½ lengths over stablemate Lucy De. A 5-year-old mare who had been raced exclusively in Italy, Plein Air is an impressive 11-8-1-1 overall with earnings of $155,272.
Although she will step up to the graded level in the Santa Barbara at the same distance, Plein Air won't face a graded winner in the field of six-unlike the Astra, when she held off 2017 Santa Barbara winner Evo Campo by three-quarters of a length.
Owner: Next Wave Racing, Pat Maciariello, Jeremy Peskoff and Mark Silverstein
Trainer: Richard Baltas
Winless in four starts in her native Ireland, this 4-year-old filly has come to hand under the care of Baltas, winning three of her eight Southern California starts, including two out of her last three. Off as the 2-1 favorite in a second condition allowance at a mile and one eighth on turf here April 7, Pantsonfire split horses a furlong out en route to an impressive head victory, which should set her up well for a top performance in the Santa Barbara.
Nakatani, who finished second with her in her U.S. debut on July 27 at Del Mar, was also aboard for a heartbreak nose defeat five starts back on Nov. 19 at Del Mar. Look for her to be rolling late in her first try at a mile and one half on Saturday.