Short field, lone speed, streaking front-runner. Joe Talamo knows he
has his work cut out if he expects to beat Ellafitz when he rides Include Me Out in Saturday’s Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes for older
fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles. But that hasn’t shaken the 22-year-old
“She was only a length and three-quarters off the lead when they
went 45 and four last time when she won the La Canada,” Talamo said of
Include Me Out, who “powered away” to win that race by 4 ¼ lengths. “She
can definitely lay close and she was pretty close on her own.”
Trained by Ron Ellis for the Jay Em Ess Stable, Include Me Out is
a lightly raced 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Include with a strong
stretch surge. She has three wins from seven starts.
“Obviously, Ellafitz is the one to beat and the one to catch
because she’s got that speed and she keeps on going with it,” Talamo
said. “But my filly’s doing real good right now and they’ve done a great
job with her.
“She’s nice and fresh, too. She hasn’t run since the La Canada on
Jan. 22 and they skipped the Santa Maria (on Feb. 18, won by Ellafitz
for her third straight gate-to-wire stakes win) because Ron was pointing
her for this race.
“Another thing in our favor is the fact that Ellafitz is going an
extra sixteenth of a mile from her last three races. They were all a
mile and a sixteenth. My filly finishes real well and she’s bred to run
all day. She’ll be tough.”
The field for the Santa Margarita: Miss Mittagong, Mario
Gutierrez, 6-1; Love Theway
Youare, Joel Rosario, 15-1; Kayce Ace, Victor Espinoza, 15-1; Ellafitz,
Martin Garcia, 6-5; Include Me Out, Joe Talamo, 9-5; and Awesomemundo,
Mike Smith, 5-2.