her first main track try, the John Sadler-trained More Chocolate
Garrett Gomez at the controls, was able to ration her considerable speed
as she charged to a 1 ¾ length victory in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000
La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies getting a mile and a sixteenth
“She was relaxed going into the first turn then she jumped up in
the bridle on me,” said Gomez. “I didn’t want to get into a wrestling
match with her so I let her be. She settled into a good rhythm going
down the backside. I haven’t had a horse turn for home like she did for
me in a long time.”
An allowance winner going 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita on
Nov. 1, More Chocolate pressed the pace in the Grade III Robert J.
Frankel Stakes at the same distance and finished third, beaten 2 ½
In the La Canada, she pulled Gomez into contention rounding the
Club House turn and sat second to Willa B Awesome and Martin Pedroza
through fractions of 24.34 and 48.03. More Chocolate got the six
furlongs in 1:12 flat and the mile in 1:36.31 and was not seriously
challenged through the lane. Book Review, the 7-5 second choice with
Rafael Bejarano, ran second, 2 ¼ lengths in front of 11-1 shot Willa B
Off at 5-1, More Chocolate paid $12.60, $5.40 and $4.00.
“We wanted to try her on the dirt,” said Sadler. “It’s the last
chance to run her with her own age group…We thought we might be back a
little further, but with a 48 half, I felt good with where we were
sitting. We’re going to look at the Santa Margarita (Grade I, $300,000
at 1 1/8 miles for older fillies and mares on March 16), that’s for
Owned by Michael Talla, More Chocolate, a Kentucky-bred filly by
Malibu Moon, improved her record to 8-3-1-1 and with the winner’s share
of $90,000 nearly doubled her earnings to $182,790.
Book Review, who had a clean trip and no apparent excuses, paid $3.20 and $2.40. Willa B Awesome paid $4.20 to show.
The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Lady of Fifty, the 6-5 favorite
Martin Garcia, had little punch through the lane and finished fourth,
beaten a neck by Willa B Awesome.
No one hit the Pick Six at Santa Anita on Sunday, resulting in a
carryover of $101,931 into Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday. It is
expected that the total Pick Six pool on Monday will exceed $750,000.