Photo: Benoit Photos
Iotapa, a daughter of 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex, makes her return to the races after a six-month layoff in Saturday’s Grade II Santa Monica Stakes.
“She won at seven-eighths and she’s got high-class form,” trainer John Sadler pointed out of Iotapa, who has not raced since finishing third in the Grade II San Clemente Handicap on grass at Del Mar last July and who last May won Hollywood Park’s Railbird Stakes at seven furlongs, the same distance as the Santa Monica.
“She was second to Beholder (in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks) and has always been right in there (never worse than third in six starts, three of them victories),” Sadler said. “We don’t think she liked the turf at all, even though she was third (in the San Clemente). We were a little disappointed in that race.
“She’s back on the main track, she’s won on the dirt here, so we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
The field for the Santa Monica, the fourth race on a 10-race card that starts at 12 noon: Iotapa, Rafael Bejarano, 9-2; Teddy’s Promise, Victor Espinoza, 2-1; Lexington Pearl, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Heir Kitty, Gary Stevens, 3-1; Socialbug, Martin Garcia, 9-2; Scherzinger, Mike Smith, 4-1; and Winding Way, Tyler Baze, 12-1.