On the face of it, one might question why Brushed by a Star followed
Joyful Victory to
Santa Anita for Saturday’s Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes, since Joyful
Victory just beat Brushed by a Star by 4 1/4 lengths in the Houston
Ladies Classic Stakes in Texas on Jan. 26.
Truth be told, Brushed by a Star was destined for the Santa Margarita no matter what.
“She’s doing super,” said trainer Eddie Kenneally’s assistant of two years, Dorie Smith,
at trainer Paddy Gallagher’s barn Thursday morning. “We got in yesterday afternoon and flew in from Florida.”
Noted Brushed by a Star was just beaten by Joyful Victory, Smith
said she “can’t speak for Eddie, but I know he had targeted this race
and I think he was coming whether Larry (Jones, trainer of Joyful
Victory) came or not.”
Brushed by a Star, a consistent 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by
Eddington owned by Unlimited Equine LLC, numbers the Grade II Molly
Pitcher at Monmouth last July among her six victories. She also has
seven seconds and two thirds, with earnings of $553,031.
If nothing else, Smith has enjoyed the warm Southern California
weather to date, not to mention the hospitality she’s received at The
Great Race Place.
“This is my first time in California,” the Lexington, Ky.,
native said. “Santa Anita is beautiful. I love it. It’s a beautiful
place and a beautiful facility. Everybody’s very helpful.”
The field for the Santa Margarita, which will be run as the
seventh race: The Only Key, Kevin Krigger, 30-1; Brushed by a Star,
Victor Espinoza, 7-2; Joyful Victory, Rosie Napravnik, 9-5; Great Hot,
Gary Stevens, 4-1; Snow Fall, Tyler Baze, 7-2; and More Chocolate,
Martin Garcia, 5-2.