Vision in Gold is training “awesome” for Saturday’s Grade II,
$200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
But she, like five other runners, will have to overtake Ellafitz to win
On paper, Ellafitz appears to be the controlling speed in the
Santa Maria, which Vision in Gold won last year but must improve from a
sixth-place finish as the 9-10 favorite in the Paseana Handicap at Santa
Anita on Jan. 15. It was the first start since last March for the
5-year-old mare trained by Ron Ellis for the Jay Em Ess Stable.
“It was a lot to expect, going two turns after a 10-month
layoff,” Ellis said in addressing the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro’s
disappointing Paseana performance. “She got tired. There’s not much
speed in Saturday’s race, but we’ve drawn the outside, so we’ll see what
The field for the Santa Maria, which goes as the eighth of 10
races: Spirit Seeker, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Ellafitz, Martin Garcia,
8-5; Miss Mittagong, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Love Theway Youare, Alonso
Quinonez, 15-1; Kayce Ace, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Great Hot, Chantal
Sutherland, 3-1; and Vision in Gold, Joel Rosario, 5-2.