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Santa Anita Park Preview | California Distaff Handicap 2023: Rose Dawson, Rose Maddox Rep Alexander
Rose Maddox winning the 2023 Moscow Burning Stakes (Vassar Photography)

Santa Anita Park Preview | California Distaff Handicap 2023: Rose Dawson, Rose Maddox Rep Alexander

Longtime California owner/breeder Nick Alexander appears well represented by a pair of homebreds, Rose Dawson and Rose Maddox, as they figure prominently among a wide-open field of seven fillies and mares three and up going about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in Saturday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap. 

The California Distaff is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses. 

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Fourth in last year’s Cal Distaff, the Phil D’Amato-trained Rose Dawson comes off a runaway five length score in a six furlong first condition allowance run on dirt at Los Alamitos on Sept. 16. 

A 4-year-old filly by Grazen out of the Bertrando mare Sudden Sunday, Rose Dawson was second in her only other try over the course, a classified allowance on June 11 of last year. 

A winner of the one mile turf California Oaks at Santa Anita on Jan. 15, 2022 Rose Dawson earned a career-best 84 Beyer Speed Figure in her Sept. 16 allowance win and appears to be at the top of her game for D’Amato, who once again engages Juan Hernandez. 

With an overall mark of 11-3-2-0, she has earnings of $245,080. 

Rose Maddox, who is also by Grazen and is grey in color, comes off a solid second place finish going one mile on turf in the statebred Solana Beach Stakes Aug. 25 and as a two-time stakes winner, is the leading money earner in the field with $356,782.  

Trained by Steve Miyadi and fifth in her lone hillside try, a first condition allowance on Dec. 30, 2022, Rose Maddox would benefit from a fast pace and will hope to be rolling late under Tiago Pereira, who is aboard for the first time. 

With two and four seconds from seven starts in 2023, Rose Maddox, who is out of the Unusual Heat mare Heat the Rocks, has had a very productive year and approached the California Distaff Handicap with an overall race record of 17-5-8-1. 

Third in last year’s California Distaff, the venerable Kleen Karma will be saddled for the first time by Leonard Powell in what will be her 35th career start. 

Previously trained by Craig Lewis, this 6-year-old mare by Clubhouse Ride rallied from far back to win by a half length in a $40,000 claiming race at one mile on turf Aug. 16 and will be bidding for her second win from five starts down the hillside turf. 

Bred in California by Alfred Pais and James Shennuda, Kleen Karma is owned by Pais and Zephyr Racing, LLC. 

Out of the Powerscourt mare Calameera, Kleen Karma is 34-5-5-5 overall with earnings of $283,860 and will be ridden back by Diego Hererra. 

Fifth as the 6-5 favorite in the one mile turf Solana Beach Aug. 25, the Carla Gaines-trained Ultimate Hy, a 6-year-old mare by Haimish Hy, will be making her second career start in a stakes race in what will be her third try down the hillside turf. 

Although winless in her previous two hillside efforts, she ran close third over the course in a first condition allowance versus open company in January of 2022. 

Owned and bred in California by Robert Abrams, Mitchell Dutko and Michael Paran,Ultimate Hy will be ridden by Umberto Rispoli, who guided her to a three quarter length win in a one mile turf allowance two starts back at Del Mar July 29. 

Out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Ultimate Summer, Ultimate Hy, who has raced almost exclusively on turf, is 17-3-5-2 overall with earnings of $256,710. 

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Neil Drysdale could have theft on his mind with his speedy 3-year-old filly Organic. 

A 5 ½ length maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs out of Santa Anita’s turf chute three starts back on June 18, Organic followed that with a three quarter length score in a five furlong turf statebred allowance at Del Mar but was subsequently a well beaten eighth going the same distance on turf versus open company in a first condition allowance Aug. 31. 

The quickest horse in the field, Organic has been facing older competition in her last five starts, winning two of them. 

Owned by her breeder, Richard Barton, Organic is by Dads Caps out of the Malibu Moon mare Runaway Moon and will be making her first stakes start on Saturday when ridden for the first time by Hector Berrios. 


Race 7 of 11 | Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT 

  1. Organic—Hector Berrios–115 
  2. Kleen Karma—Diego Hererra—119 
  3. Ultimate Hy—Umberto Rispoli—120 
  4. Chismosa—Edgar Payeras–118 
  5. Rose Dawson—Juan Hernandez—119 
  6. Rose Maddox—Tiago Pereira—124 
  7. Madiha—Ricardo Gonzalez–117 

  First post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.