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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – A month after shipping over and defeating her 3-year-old American counterparts, top European trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Santa Barbara returned stateside and romped under a hand ride in Saturday’s $400,000 Beverly D. Stakes (G1), held for the final time at Arlington Park.
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Santa Barbara and regular rider Ryan Moore were the slight even-money favorite over 5-time graded stakes winner Mean Mary, who at 11/10 set a comfortable early tempo but was unable to withstand Santa Barbara’s devastating turn of foot.
After tracking closely from third early, Santa Barbara exploded without Moore ever asking her for her best. The final time for the 1 3/16-mile good turf route was 1:54.55.
“She was always a filly I had a high opinion of,” Moore said. “She was very comfortable through the race. Very straightforward today.”
Mean Mary, who broke through the gate shortly before the start but was quickly corralled, held second by a neck over Lemista. Locals Joy Epifora and Naval Laughter completed the order of finish. Bramble Queen and Oh So Terrible scratched.
Santa Barbara’s win followed a better-than-it-looked Belmont Oaks (G1) when she endured a rough trip but prevailed nonetheless. The daughter of Camelot’s record now stands at 6-3-1-0 with $731,612 earned.
O’Brien’s victory, his first, also put a halt to Chad Brown’s streak of having won the past 5 editions; Brown trains Lemista.
Santa Barbara returned $4 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Mean Mary brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. Lemista paid $2.20 to show.
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