Tommy Town Thoroughbreds homebred Let Faith Arise stalked the early pace under confident handling from Corey Nakatani and went on to an impressive 1-3/4 win in Saturday’s Grade I, $350,000 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita, covering 1-1/8 miles in 1:48.70.
Run for the 77th time, the Santa Margarita attracted a field of seven older fillies and mares and many expected 7-5 favorite Iotapa to clear the field early, but it was 5-2 second choice Fiftyshadesofhay, ridden by Martin Garcia, who made the lead narrowly after a quarter mile and although they were head and head, she, along with Let Faith Arise and Iotapa, set reasonable splits of 23.45, 47.55, 1:11.67 and 1:36.25.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Let Faith Arise was between horses while running three-abreast leaving the three furlong pole when Nakatani called upon his mount as he sat between Fiftyshadesofhay to his inside and Iotapa, with Joe Talamo, to his outside.
Tribal Spy, with Irving Orozco up, made an easy lead and coasted to a gate to wire win in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes by one length, covering 6-1/2 furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.59.
The running of the O’Brien, for older fillies and mares bred or sired in California, was significantly altered at the break when Ciao Bella Luna, a front-running sort who broke just to the outside of the winner in post five, reared up leaving the gate, resulting in Tribal Spy making a lonely lead through fractions of 22.36, 44.75 and 1:06.69.
Although last early, Ciao Bella Luna, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was quickly into contention at the rail after a half mile, just three lengths off the lead. “Ciao” kept to her task through the lane and finished second, a head in front of Dancingtothestars and Joe Talamo.
Off at 4-1 in a field of seven, Tribal Spy paid $10.40, $5.00 and $3.00.
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