McCarthy has 'a couple options' for Ce Ce, including one Sunday

McCarthy has 'a couple options' for Ce Ce, including one Sunday
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Ce Ce, determined winner of the Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn Park by a head over fellow southern California shipper Ollie’s Candy back on April 18, is nominated to Sunday's Santa Maria Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

But trainer Michael McCarthy and owner/breeder Bo Hirsch were still mulling their options Monday morning.

A 4-year-old daughter of Quality Road, Ce Ce (pronounced see see) captured the Beholder Mile (G1) before the Apple Blossom and has won four of six career starts with one second, earning a hefty $726,600.

“The filly worked over the weekend but I haven’t spoken with the owner yet so we haven’t made up our minds,” McCarthy said. “I was pleased with the way she worked.

“I’ve got a couple options including the Santa Maria and the Ogden Phipps in New York. I’ll talk with Mr. Hirsch a bit later and go from there.”

The Ogden Phipps (G1) will be decided at 1 1/16 miles June 13 at Belmont Park.

Ce Ce breezed five furlongs Sunday in 1:01, while another Santa Maria probable, Hard Not to Love, went the same distance in a bullet 58.80 for John Shirreffs. It was the fastest of 48 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:01.52.

Ce Ce's next start will ultimately serve as a bridge to her main summer goal, a start in Del Mar's Clement L. Hirsch (G1) on July 28. The race is named after Bo Hirsch's father, the late owner and founder of the Oak Tree Racing Association that hosted a fall meet at Santa Anita.

Meanwhile as far as McCarthy trainees go, City of Light, earner of $5,662,600, is relishing life as a stallion at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky., where he stands for $40,000.

Thanks to McCarthy’s dexterous display of horsemanship, the son of Quality Road captured the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational by 5 ¾ dominating lengths on Gulfstream Park’s sloppy track before going to stud.

“He’s doing a helluva lot of servicing,” McCarthy said, “and it sounds like he’s enjoying himself.”

2020 Santa Maria Stakes (G2)

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