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Las Cienegas Preview: Jolie Olimpica Set for Title Defense
Jolie Olimpica after winning the 2020 Las Cienegas (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Las Cienegas Preview: Jolie Olimpica Set for Title Defense

ARCADIA, CA – Fox Hill Farms’ Jolie Olimpica is set for a tough title defense in Saturday’s $100 Las Cienegas Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

The Las Cienegas is a 6-furlong turf sprint restricted to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 4:00 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Las Cienegas:

1. Bohemian Bourbon 15/1 – She makes her first start for new trainer Michael McCarthy after being purchased by SF Bloodstock, who leased her racing rights to the popular micro-share ownership group. McCarthy is 27% in turf sprints. She won a tough optional claiming sprint at Kentucky Downs in 2019 but is winless in 5 starts since. 

2. Charmaine’s Mia 15/1 – Privately purchased last fall after competing at Woodbine and Gulfstream Park, she makes her first start on the west coast for trainer Phil D’Amato, who wins 25% when experienced runners debut for him. Only 1 of her 4 career wins came on turf, a 5-furlong optional claiming dash a year ago, but she placed in the 2018 Catch A Glimpse Stakes.

3. Acting Out / – She has scratched.

4. Lighthouse 5/2 – She cuts back slightly while making her first start since winning the 6 1/2-furlong Music City Stakes at Kentucky Downs last September. Trainer Simon Callaghan only connects at 11% when returning from similar layoffs, but he also succeeds in 22% of his turf sprint starts and at 37% with jockey Umberto Rispoli – aboard here and in the Music City.

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5. Superstition 6/1 – She enters her stakes debut hot, having won 2 straight 5-furlong sprints at Del Mar including a maiden special weight and an optional claiming event. The 4-year-old Ghostzapper filly was purchased for $850,000 and it seems that trainer Richard Mandella’s patience with her (she raced only once before last September) has paid off so far.

6. Oleksandra 9/5 – She began 2020 with a late-surging second in the 5 1/2-furlong Monrovia Stakes (G2), then traveled to Belmont Park and beat the boys in the 6-furlong Jaipur Stakes (G1). Unraced since crossing ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), she’s done well after similar layoffs in the past. Will the extra 1/2-furlong be enough to put her past Jolie Olimpica?

7. Jolie Olimpica 8/5 – The Brazilian-bred made her American debut a winning one, taking the Las Cienegas by 1 1/4 lengths when that race was held at 5 1/2 furlongs. She also won the Monrovia at the same distance and had enough class to finish second when routing in the Buena Vista Stakes (G2) and the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1), so this distance should be no trouble.

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