inaugural running of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Goldikova Stakes,
for fillies and mares at one-mile on turf has attracted a competitive field of
eight and appears devoid of any clear cut standout as The Great Race Place
closes out its 24-day Autumn Meet on Sunday.
Favored in four of her last five
starts, including a third-place finish at 3-2 in the restricted one-mile turf
Swingtime Stakes on Oct. 6, Irish-bred Byrony figures to again be well
supported in the Goldikova.
Trained by John Sadler,
she’ll be reunited with Rafael Bejarano, who has won twice with her and
who was aboard for a close sixth-place finish in the Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes
going 1 ¼ miles on turf Sept. 29. Her best stateside efforts have come
when she’s stalked the pace at slightly longer distances. A 4-year-old
filly, Byrony is 9-2-0-3 at one-mile on turf and her overall mark is
23-7-1-4. She has lifetime earnings of $129,690.
Byrony is owned by the Batchelor
Family Trust and Partridge.
Three distaffers, Let’s Go
Cheyenne, City to City, and Vivo Per Lei, who were off at odds of 7-2, 9-1
and 43-1, respectively, all exit the Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes and will be
accorded respect in Sunday’s Goldikova.
Owned by Southern Comfort Stable or
Scott, Let’s Go Cheyenne had the
early Rodeo lead under Bejarano, but folded turning for home, finishing eighth
in the 13-horse field, beaten 10 lengths.
The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred
daughter of Tiznow opened up a 12-length lead in the CTT & TOC Handicap at
Del Mar on Aug. 24, and prevailed in gate to wire fashion by 5 ¾ lengths,
getting the 1 3/8 miles on grass in 2:13.50. Trained by Vladimir
Cerin, she has a win and a third-place finish from three starts at one mile
Let’s Go Cheyenne’s earnings stand
at $160,910 from an overall mark of 10-3-3-1. One dimensional, her
strategy is transparent--go to the front and try to make every pole a winning
one. She’ll be ridden for the first time on Sunday by Tyler Baze.
By contrast, City to City was
taken far off the early Rodeo Drive pace, as she was seventh, 14 lengths behind
Let’s Go Cheyenne after the first quarter mile. Although she employed a
different style, the result was similar, as she finished 10th,
beaten 11 ¾ lengths.
A winner of the Grade II, one-mile
turf Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita on Feb. 20, City to City was a nose
winner of the Grade II, 1 1/8 mile turf John C. Mabee Stakes on Aug. 12, and
she was second, beaten 1 ¾ lengths in the Grade II, 1 1/16 mile Yellow Ribbon
Stakes at Del Mar as the 5-2 favorite Sept. 3.
City to City and jockey Joel
Rosario would no doubt appreciate a fast pace and she appears better suited
at the Goldikova distance of one mile.
Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry
Hollendorfer, City to City is owned by William DeBurgh, Hollendorfer
and Mark DeDominico. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by City Zip, she
is 10-2-3-1 at one mile on grass. Her overall record is 31-8-6-5, with
earnings of $729,726.
Third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in the
Yellow Ribbon at Del Mar, the John Shirreffs-conditioned Vivo Per Lei
was dismissed at 43-1 in the Rodeo Drive and ran like it—finishing 12th,
beaten 23 ½ lengths. The 5-year-old Empire Maker mare sat a close second
early but was done at the top of the Camino Real stretch.
Vivo Per Lei has been in steady
training at Shirreffs’ Betfair Hollywood Park base and she’ll be making her
third start in Southern California on Sunday. A one-time winner from five
starts at the distance, the Eurowest Bloodstock charge has an overall
mark of 16-3-1-2, with earnings of $136,832.
A Group II winner in Turkey on Sept.
1, Rhythm of Light, a 4-year-old English-bred filly by Beat Hollow, is
perhaps the biggest question mark in Sunday’s Goldikova. Trained by
Englishman Thomas Dascombe, she’ll get the services of Garrett Gomez
for her U.S. debut.
Rhythm of Light carried 132 pounds
to victory in winning the Istanbul International Trophy and she’s been assigned
124 pounds on Sunday. With a win from four starts at one-mile on turf,
Rhythm of Light has an overall mark of 16-5-2-1 and earnings of $313,659.
She is owned by Deal, Lowe and Silver.
California-bred A Jealous Woman has been a Cinderella Story for trainer Francis Meza and
the Three Cent Stable. A gate-to-wire winner of the Swingtime Stakes
Oct. 6, the 5-year-old mare by Muqtarib was off at odds of 6-1 and was ridden
by Brice Blanc. She is an impressive 7-3-1-1 record at one-mile on
turf and has an overall mark of 17-7-2-3, with earnings of $353,256. A
Jealous Woman is in search of her first graded stakes tally.
Hard to Resist, idle since running fourth in the 1 1/16 mile Las Madrinas
Handicap on Sept. 22 at Fairplex Park, returns to turf on Sunday and seeks her
first stakes win for trainer Peter Eurton and owners Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam
Stable, Ciaglia Racing and partners.
Second in the one-mile
turf Redondo Beach Stakes on June 10, Hard to Resist was subsequently fifth,
beaten two lengths, by the highly regarded Broken Dreams, in the one mile turf
Osunitas Stakes July 21.
field for the Goldikova, which will be run as the eighth on a 10-race card,
with jockeys and weights in post position order: Vivo Per Lei, Mike Smith
119; Let’s Go Cheyenne, Tyler Baze, 119; Rhythm of Light, Garrett Gomez, 124;
Byrony, Rafael Bejarano, 119; City to City, Joel Rosario, 124; Hard to Resist,
Julien Leparoux, 119; I Dazzle, Patrick Valenzuela, 119, and A Jealous Woman,
Brice Blanc, 119.