ARCADIA, CA — With a couple of confident looks back, veteran Corey Nakatani stepped on the gas heading into the far turn and went on to a convincing 1 3/4 length win aboard Goodyearforroses in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes for older fillies and mares. Trained by Richard Baltas, the 5-year-old Irish-bred mare covered 1 1/8 miles on grass in 1:47.98 as she took her third consecutive stakes race of the Winter Meet.
A measured fourth, about two lengths off of pacesetter Kenriya three furlongs from home, Goodyearforroses made an eye-catching move around the turn, swung three-wide turning for home and, aside from a couple of back-handed reminders, was hand-ridden to victory.
A winner of both the Robert J. Frankel Stakes on December 31 and the Astra II Stakes on February 2, Goodyearforroses was off at even money in a field of eight. Fractions on the race were 23.85, 48.90, 1:12.80 and 1:36.58.
Transferred to Baltas following a third place finish in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine on November 5, Goodyearforroses is unbeaten with her new connections.
“She’s been aggressive from the time we got her, and it’s nice to have a jock like Corey who I don’t have to give any instructions to,” said Baltas. “She’s done everything right and she’s acted like a good horse. We’ve got some weight on her now and she’s all race horse.”
When asked where she might run next, Baltas responded, “We might stay home and run in the Gamely (Grade 1, 1 1/8 miles on turf, May 27).”
Owned by Abbondanza Racing, LLC, who brought a large throng of racing enthusiasts to the Winner’s Circle, Goodyearforroses now has seven wins from 15 starts, and with the winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $365,995.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Nakatani. “She’s doing unbelievable, as you can tell from the way she ran today. She tells us when she wants to run and she’s just such a good mare.”
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, the Argentine-bred Pretty Girl, who was last after six furlongs, proved second best, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of the Flavien Prat-ridden Sweet Charity. Sheeza Milky Way completed the superfecta, ahead of Evo Campo, Do The Dance, Responsibleforlove, and Kenriya.
Goodyearforroses returned $4, $3, and $2.20. Pretty Girl brought back $7.20 and $3.80, while Sweet Charity paid $3 to show.
Santa Anita Park