Gary Stevens is optimistic that maiden winner Branding will give a
good account of herself when she advances to stakes competition in
Saturday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16
The daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense trained by Tom
Proctor for the Glen Hill Farm rallied to win a maiden allowance race at
seven furlongs by 2 ½ lengths, giving Stevens his first win on Jan. 12
after a seven-year retirement.
It was Branding’s first start since last June 28, when she was
off slowly from the inside in her debut race and finished a well-beaten
eighth at Betfair Hollywood Park.
“She finished up running the right way, so you’d expect her to stretch out fine,” Stevens said of the maiden allowance score.
“She’s a filly with a lot of class and a lot of quality. It’s a
big step up but we’ll see what happens. I’m in good hands with the
The field for the Santa Ysabel, which goes as the fourth race:
Escape Act, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Fiftyshadesofhay, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1;
Scarlet Strike, Joe Talamo, 2-1; Switch to the Leads, Julien Leparoux,
10-1; Branding, Stevens, 3-1; and Heir Kitty, Garrett Gomez, 9-5.