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ARCADIA, CA – Patiently ridden until the time was right, trainer Richard Baltas’ Elysea’s World commenced a perfectly-timed four-wide rally down the lane to get up in time and capture Saturday’s Santa Ana Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from post 6 under Drayden Van Dyke as the 2/1 favorite, Elysea’s World settled comfortably near the rear while Stradella Road and India Mantuana took turns leading through fractions of :23.96, :47.01, 1:10.85, and 1:34.95 for the opening mile. The field bunched up heading into the final turn and Van Dyke maneuvered a loaded Elysea’s World out in the clear so that when she hit the top of the stretch, she was ready to fire. Under confident urging, Elysea’s World poked her nose ahead in deep stretch before prevailing by a 1/2-length at the wire in a final time of 1:59.24 for the 1 1/4-mile event over the firm turf course.
“This filly settled for me very nicely,” Van Dyke said. “This is the first time I have rode her, but I could tell she is a very classy filly. We had a very nice pace to chase, so I was bidding my time before I asked her to run. This race set up for us perfect on paper for me. She did the rest when we turned for home.”
Zaffinah and Lynne’s Legacy also tried to rally from the rear late, but both came up short and finished just a 1/2-length behind, respectively, for second and third. Streak of Luck was another 1/2-length back in fourth ahead of the tiring Stradella Road. Poster Girl was unable to keep up when the real running began and outkicked only a spent India Mantuana, who began giving way in the final turn and was eased late to complete the order of finish. Tell Me More was scratched.
Elysea’s World’s win improved her overall record to 24-7-5-3 with $626,573 earned for co-owners Abbondanza Racing, Christopher Dunn, and Jerry McClanahan. A 6-year-old daughter of Champs Elysees, it was her first victory since her current connections purchased her for $500,000 last November.
“It’s hard to win a race, but you know, it’s so exciting when you do win that all you can do is keep hoping and waiting for it to happen,” McClanahan said. “We ran three today and got one home. We really thought that this horse was the best horse in the race. We just had to have a good trip and wait for our diamond. We thought we could run by them, so she really just ran like we thought she could. She’s a little bit higher level than these horses, so if she didn’t get it done today, we might have been in a bit of trouble, but she came through for us.”
Elysea’s World returned $6.20 to win, $3.60 to place, and $3 to show. Zaffinah brought back $3.60 to place and $2.80 to show, while Lynne’s Legacy paid $4.80 to show.
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