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Eclair De Lune Seeks Rebound in Santa Ana

Grade one winner Eclair De Lune makes her second start of the year and takes on seven rivals in the Santa Ana Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.

The German-bred mare won the Beverly D (G1) last summer for owner Richard Duchossois and trainer Ron McAnally and she ended her 4-year-old campaign with a respectable 6th place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

She began her 2011 season in the ungraded Megahertz at a flat mile distance that was too short for her and finished a disappointing 4th as the favorite. That race was an obvious prep for longer events and bigger prizes and she could go much better with one under her belt. Chantal Sutherland takes the call.

The nine furlong test also attracted Megahertz 1-2 finishers It Tiz and Lilly Fa Pootz. The former might be best at a flat mile and the latter has dropped seven straight in the turf stakes ranks.

Turning Top may pose the biggest threat to Eclair De Lune. The 5-year-old mare ran like she needed her Buena Vista (G2) return and she showed some late interest in that one-mile event on Feb 21. The tactical miss won the Beverly Hills (G2) at ten furlongs last summer and should appreciate today's longer trip in her second start off the shelf. Today's pilot Joel Rosario booted her home twice last year.

Malibu Pier stalked the lively Buena Vista pace and finished a respectable 3rd that day. The versatile filly has placed in a pair of graded races and Rafael Bejarano rides her well.

Washington Bridge did not get any pace help in the Santa Maria (G2). Lilly Fa Pootz's stablemate seems best on synthetic and Bejarano jumps ship.

Blue Maiden landed the place in her downhill return and can improve over a route of ground. Class is a question and Rosario abandons for Turning Top.

Church Camp rounds out the field for Brian Koriner. The sharp filly is on the upswing but has done all of her damage in synthetic and dirt sprints. She flopped in her lone turf try and has never raced this far.   

 

 

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