INGLEWOOD, Calif. (February 16, 2012)—Ellafitz, who has won two in a row by a combined 7 ½ lengths, will try to stay hot in the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita.
A Grade II at 1 1/16 miles, the Santa Maria is the eighth of 10 races. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Track gates open at 10:15 a.m. Saturday for simulcasts at Hollywood Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert for D & E Racing LLC, Ellafitz began her win streak with a 3 ¼ length victory in the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap during the Autumn meet last Dec. 4.
A 5-year-old daughter of Tiznow out of the Dixieland Band mare Skat Girl. Ellafitz has won five of 13 and earned $277,957. If she wins Saturday, she would become the first female since Star Parade to win both the Bayakoa and Santa Maria. Star Parade won the Bayakoa in 2005, then repeated a couple of months later in the Santa Maria.
Her primary rival is Vision in Gold, the defending champion. A 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and the Corporate Report mare Corporate Vision, Vision in Gold will be trying to rebound after finishing sixth at 9-10 in the Paseana Handicap, which was won by Ellafitz Jan. 15. Owned by Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Ron Ellis, Vision in Gold is 3-for-10 with earnings of $208,480.
From inside out, the field for the Santa Maria: Spirit Seeker, Rafael Bejarano rides, 118 pounds; Ellafitz, Martin Garcia, 123; Miss Mittagong, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Love Theway Youare, Alonso Quinonez, 118; Kayce Ace, Joe Talamo, 118; Great Hot, Chantal Sutherland, 118 and Vision in Gold, Joel Rosario, 118.
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