Saturday is the Buena Vista Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park! The Buena Vista is a one mile turf race for fillies and mares four-years old and up. The likes of two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Mizdirection have won this race in the past.
The 2020 edition of the Buena Vista Stakes has drawn a full-sized, star studded field. Competitors have made the trek from all over the world: Jolie Olimpica is here from Brazil, Muchly is here from Great Britain. Horses like Mucho Unusual and Super Patriot are California natives, bred in the state and raced solely at their tracks. Others like Brill and Meal Ticket have raced on both coasts of the United States. Lady Prancelot (IRE) and La Sardane (FR) are globetrotters, having raced in many different countries.
Here is an overview of this field of accomplished ladies:
1. Jolie Olimpica (Drosselmeyer - Jolie Celina, Trempolino) ~ 8/5 Jockey: Mike E. Smith Trainer: Richard Mandella Owner: Fox Hill Farms Breeder: Stud T N T This Brazilian mare has ran fewer races than anyone else in the field, but she certainly doesn’t seem to lack talent. She is undefeated in four starts. Her first three races were won at Gavea Racetrack in Brazil , one being a Grade 3 race and another being a Grade 1. She ran in the Las Cienegas Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita on January 11th, winning with incredible ease. This gorgeous chestnut mare has been working out very well at Santa Anita. She has the benefit of being piloted by Mike Smith, who won this race with Cozi Rosie (2011) and with Mizdirection (2013). Plus, trainer Richard Mandella has saddled three winners of this race, most recently Wild At Heart in 2017.
[Video: Watch Jolie Olimpica (#3) win the Las Cienegas Stakes at Santa Anita Park]
2. Carressa (Uncle Mo - IPlayTricks, Desert God) ~ 4/1 Jockey: Victor Espinoza Trainer: John A. Sherriffs Owner: Mercedes Stables, West Point TBs, Scott Dillworth, Dorothy Ingordo, David Ingordo, & Steve Mooney Breeder: Michael C. Stinson This daughter of Uncle Mo is no stranger to Santa Anita. She has run at this track four times in her entire six race career. She didn’t finish well in her first two races on Santa Anita’s dirt track, but broke her maiden in her first try at Del Mar. She returned to Santa Anita to finish second in a one mile dirt race before once again returning to Del Mar to win. When they finally put Carressa on the turf, she proved herself very capable at handling the surface -- she took command in the stretch of the Megahertz Stakes (G3) and never looked back! Carressa’s win in the Megahertz Stakes is even more impressive when you realize that she beat four of the horses who are running against her here in the Buena Vista Stakes (Brill, Keeper of the Stars, La Sardane, Super Patriot). Espinoza has piloted two other horses to victory in this race: Final Destination (2003) and Silver Cup (2006). This filly is on the improve!
[Video: Watch Carressa (#1) win the Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita Park]
3. Muchly (Iffraaj - Ego, Green Desert) ~ 15/1 Jockey: Umberto Rispoli Trainer: Simon Callaghan Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners Breeder: Highclere Stud Muchly has never raced in the United States before, but don’t let that completely deter you! This filly is stakes placed over in Europe with her last start being an 9th place finish at Lingfield. She has been training at Los Alamitos for a few months now and doesn’t look bad at all!
4. Mucho Unusual (Mucho Macho Man - Not Unusual, Unusual Heat) ~ 8/1 Jockey: Joel Rosario Trainer: Tim Yakteen Owner & Breeder: George Krikorian Mucho Unusual has run in graded stakes company twice at Santa Anita Park. Her first time was in the Autumn Miss Stakes (G3) back in October 2019, a one mile turf race in which she finished third. Her next start on Santa Anita’s turf came in the American Oaks (G1), a 1 ¼ mile turf race in which she finished second behind fellow Buena Vista Stakes contender Lady Prancealot. In the past, this daughter of Mucho Macho Man won the one mile turf San Clemente Stakes (G3) at Del Mar. If Mucho Unusual can perform how she did in the American Oaks or San Clemente rather than how she performed in the tough Matriarch Stakes (G1), she could certainly do well in this race. [Video: Watch Mucho Unusual (#3) win the San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar in July 2019]
5. Sold It (The Factor - Charade, Malibu Moon) ~ 50-1 Jockey: Mario Gutierrez Trainer: Doug O'Neill Owners: Ciaran Dunn and Reddam Racing Breeders: Jeanne Canty, Judy Hicks, Kathryn Nikkel, and Pegasus Stud LLC If you love the greys, you might have a soft spot for this daughter of The Factor. Sold It has never hit the board in graded stakes company, but she did win the California Oaks on Golden Gate’s synthetic surface in 2019 and finished second a one mile turf Allowance race at Santa Anita at the beginning of this year. This $175k Keeneland Yearling purchase has been training well at Santa Anita: she ran 4f in 46.60 (2/92), then 4f in 49.80 (26/52), and most recently 4f 47.40 (1/46).
Though she may be outclassed here, Sold It’s good workouts lately have left reason to believe that she is improving.
6. Meal Ticket (Malibu Moon - Rainbow’s Song, Unbridled’s Song) ~ 15/1 Jockey: Tiago Josue Pereira Trainer: Matthew Chew Owner: Peter Jeong and Keith Johnston Breeder: Glen Hill Farm This five-year old daughter of Malibu Moon has hit the board in one graded stakes race at Santa Anita Park: the Royal Heroine Stakes (G3). She finished second behind Vasilika, who won the 2019 edition of the Buena Vista Stakes earlier in the year. Despite that, she hasn’t been running too well in her recent races on Santa Anita’s turf.
7. Brill (Medaglia d’Oro - Hung the Moon, Malibu Moon) ~ 12/1 Jockey: Geovanni Franco Trainer: Don Chatlos Owner: Oxo Equine LLC Breeder: Southern Equine Stables Medaglia d’Oro has a knack for producing talented daughters (think Songbird and Rachel Alexandra). While Brill isn’t in that league, she is certainly no slouch. She has hit the board in two graded stakes races, one at Santa Anita and one at Pimlico. Most of her races have been on the dirt against the likes of Bellafina and Lady Apple. Brill immediately improved once switched to the turf for the one mile Lady of Shamrock Stakes at Santa Anita, winning against fellow Buena Vista contenders Keeper Ofthe Stars and Sold It. Brill was stepped up in class for the Megahertz Stakes (G3) in January, but weakened in the stretch to finish last. This $1 million Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Yearling purchase will need to perform much better than she did in the Megahertz to hit the board here. [Video: Watch Brill (#2) win the Lady of Shamrock Stakes at Santa Anita Park]
8. Lady Prancealot (Sir Prancealot - Naqrah, Haatef) ~ 5/1 Jockey: Joe Bravo Trainer: Richard Baltas Owner: Craig & Josie Arntz, Donald Durando, Michael & Jules Iavarone, and Jerry McClanahan Breeder: Tally-Ho Stud Irish-bred Lady Prancealot is on a short winning streak right now. She won the Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (G3) at Keeneland last October, which is a 1 1/16 mile race on the turf. She followed that up with a win in the American Oaks (G1) over Mucho Unusual. In the past, Lady Prancealot won the Honeymoon Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita and hit the board in both the Senorita Stakes (G3) and Providencia Stakes (G3). Trainer Richard Baltas captured this race with Paulina’s Love in 2016. Given her recent performances and the way she has been training, Lady Prancealot has a good shot at winning this race. [Video: Watch Lady Prancealot (#5) win the American Oaks at Santa Anita. Note that the sound is a bit off in this video]
9. Super Patriot (Unusual Heat - Patriot C H, Redattore) ~ 12/1 Jockey: Ruben Fuentes Trainer: Richard Baltas Owner: Little Red Feather Racing, Richard Baltas, Jeremy Peskoff, Jose Cruz Ramos, and Raymond Salvatore Breeder: Harris Farms This is the second Richard Baltas trainee in this race. Super Patriot is a California-bred filly that has never raced outside of the state. She ran 23 times at the Maiden, Allowance, and Claiming level before finally making her stakes debut in the Swingtime Stakes in October 2019 in which she finished third. Afterwards, this chestnut daughter of Unusual Heat had two second place finishes, one in the Kathryn Crosby Stakes at Del Mar and the other in the Megahertz Stakes (G3) behind fellow Buena Vista contender Carressa. With her recent improvements and the experience of Richard Baltas to back her, Super Patriot could perform well in this race. [Video: Watch Super Patriot (#7) finished second in the Kathryn Crosby Stakes at Del Mar]
10. La Sardane (Kingsalsa - Foresta, Forestier) ~ 12/1 Jockey: Flavien Prat Trainer: Neil D. Drysdale Owner: Team Valor International Breeder: SCEA Plessis & Jean Guillemen This French-bred mare spent the first two years of her racing career in Europe before coming over to the United States. Since her arrival in 2018, La Sardane has run in six graded stakes races and at least hit the board in two of them. She won the Intercontinental Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park in 2018 and ,most recently, finished third in the Megahertz Stakes (G3). She has followed the same path as fellow Buena Vista contender Super Patriot: she ran in the Swingtime Stakes, then the Kathryn Crosby Stakes, and finally the Megahertz. La Sardane seems to be improving, but it is hard to tell if she will improve enough to defeat some of these strong contenders in the field.
[Video: Watch La Sardane (#2) win the Intercontinental Stakes at Belmont Park in 2018]
11. Keeper Ofthe Stars (Midnight Lute - Sociable, Run Away and Hide) ~ 20/1 Jockey: Abel Cedillo Trainer: Jonathan Wong Owner: Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC. Breeder: Olin Gentry, Omar Treveino, Anthony Cappola Keeper Ofthe Stars has both beauty and talent. She has run in five graded stakes races, but has failed to hit the board in any of them aside from her victory in the Autumn Miss Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park. She was fourth in both the San Clemente Stakes (G2) and Del Mar Oaks (G1) but finished sixth in her other two non-winning graded stakes starts, including the Megahertz Stakes (G3). Despite this, Keeper Ofthe Stars has decent Equibase speed figures. If she can run like she did in the Autumn Miss Stakes, where she recorded a 116 Equibase Speed Figure, she could be in contention in the Buena Vista. She definitely has some work to do! [Video: Watch Keeper Ofthe Stars (#5) win the Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita Park]
12. Tiny Tina (Paddy O’Prado - Tenacious Tina, Benchmark) ~ 15/1 Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke Trainer: Phillip D’Amato Owner: A Venneri Racing and Anthony Fanticola Breeder: Marjorie Dye and Alex Venneri If you’re a fan of the up and coming Drayden Van Dyke, then you might want to take a good look at Tiny Tina. She recently finished second in the Robert J. Frankel Stakes (G3) and Astra Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita. Not only has she been running well as of late, but she also has the benefit of being trained by Phillip D’Amato. D’Amato saddled 2018 Buena Vista Stakes winner Fault. If Tiny Tina continues to perform well, she could have a shot at hitting the board in this race
[Video: Watch Tiny Tina (#2) finish second in the Astra Stakes at Santa Anita Park]
All in all, the Buena Vista Stakes (G2) is shaping up to be a very exciting showdown between some talented fillies and mares. This is a race you don't want to miss, so tune in for post Time at 5:29 p.m. ET on Saturday. If you have any strong feelings about this race, be sure to place a bet!
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