ARCADIA, Calif. (March 13, 2013)—Great Hot, fresh off the biggest race of her life, a gate to wire score at 9-1 in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles Santa Maria Stakes on Feb. 16, and Joyful Victory, a well traveled and highly accomplished 5-year-old mare by hot sire Tapit, head a field of six as they each try for consecutive victories in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.
Brazilian-bred Great Hot, who had been mired in an 0-13 losing streak, drew the rail in the Santa Maria and under the deft control of comebacking Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, took command early and never looked back in the five-horse Santa Maria. In what many longtime observers labeled “Vintage Stevens,” the recently turned 50 year old Idaho native reminded them of so many pace-controlling big money rides from yesteryear. Left alone through fractions of 23.80, 48 and 1:12, Stevens and Great Hot had the race won at the quarter pole and finished up in 1:43.
Joyful Victory, a 5-year-old mare bred in Ontario, Canada, will attempt to become Thoroughbred racing’s newest millionaire in the Santa Margarita and follow up on an impressive gate to wire victory of her own in the $400,000 Houston Lady’s Classic on Jan. 26 at Sam Houston Race Park. She will again be ridden by 25 year old Rosie Napravnik, widely regarded as the hottest female jockey since Julie Krone.
The complete field from the rail out for Saturday’s Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes is as follows:
THE ONLY KEY
Originally raced in Germany, English-bred The Only Key will be trying natural dirt for the first time in the Santa Margarita. Trained by Dean Greenman, 7-year-old The Only Key is in sharp recent form, winning a $20,000 claimer going 1 1/16 miles on turf at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 13, and running a game second in a first condition turf allowance going 1 ¼ miles on Feb. 15 at Santa Anita.
Owned by former Santa Anita President Ron Charles, a stakes placing in the prestigious Santa Margarita would greatly enhance her value. With a record of 21-4-2-4, she has earnings of $62,643.Read the rest of the story Santa Anita Park - Press Releases