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Breeders' Cup 2017

Rovenna Stretches Out Saturday

Rovenna: 615x400 (Benoit photo)
Photo: Benoit Photo
Rovenna stretches out in Saturday’s $250,000 Melair Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and one sixteenth, but trainer Mike Machowsky is confident the Vronsky filly owned and bred by Donald Dizney can get the job done.

The Melair is one of five stakes races Saturday spotlighting California-breds.

Rovenna is coming of an authoritative front-running victory by nearly three lengths in the 6 ½-furlong Evening Jewel Stakes on April 5. It was her first race in almost two months.

“She’s run well routing before,” Machowsky said, referring to two third-place finishes at one mile against Cal-breds, the Golden State Juvenile on Santa Anita’s main track last Nov. 1 and the California Cup Oaks on turf Jan. 25.

“She’s kind of lightly raced (the Melair would be her ninth career start), so I think she can handle it.”

Machowsky was looking forward to twilight racing at Santa Anita, which starts at 3 p.m. today and will be offered most Fridays throughout the 40-day Spring Meet that ends June 29.

“I love it,” he said in an unsolicited testimonial. “I think it’s great. It’s something new, the start of the weekend, and people are getting off work and can come to the track and hang out for a few hours.

“I think it’s a great idea. Bring your wife, bring your girlfriend. It’s kind of like date night at the races.”

The field for the Melair, race nine of 11 starting at 1 p.m.: Swiss Lake Yodeler, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Rovenna, Victor Espinoza, 2-1; Wonderful Lie, Corey Nakatani, 12-1; Magic Spot, Mike Smith, 5-1; Anniversary Kitty, Joe Talamo, 5-1; Versye, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; and Harlington’s Rose, Tyler Baze, 7-2. Shakeitupbetty was scratched.

 

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