English-bred Belvoir Bay and stablemate Painting Corners both figure prominently in one of the Memorial Day Weekend's best betting races, Sunday's Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes, at five furlongs on turf at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. The Monrovia, carded as the seventh race on a nine-race program, has attracted a deep and competitive field of 10 fillies and mares three and up, with one horse on the also eligible list.
Trainer Phil D'Amato's California-bred S Y Sky, a Nick Alexander homebred, also rates a big look in the large field, as she comes off what might have been her biggest win in the five furlong turf Camilla Urso Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
Owner: Gary Barber; Trainer: Peter Miller
Sheer class at age six, Belvoir Bay is the defending champion in the Monrovia and is by far the leading money earner in the field with $1,085,787. Most recently second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in a $2 million Group I sprint going six furlongs on turf in Dubai March 30, she was an emphatic 4 ¾ length winner of the ungraded Wishing Well Stakes going five furlongs on turf two starts back here on Feb. 16 and is 7-3-3-0 at five eighths of mile on grass. With an overall mark of 25-11-5-2 and Flavien Prat back aboard, Belvoir Bay rates top billing.
Owner: Altimira Racing Stable & Slam Dunk Racing; Trainer: Peter Miller
Most recently a front-running 1 ½ length winner of the ungraded Mizdirection Stakes going five furlongs on turf April 13, this 5-year-old Florida-bred mare by the Smart Strike stallion Pleasant Strike, has three wins from seven tries at five furlongs on grass as she seeks her first graded stakes victory with leading man Joe Talamo back aboard. Based at San Luis Rey Downs with her far more accomplished stablemate, Painting Corners, who has an overall mark of 18-6-2-4, figures to blast off and hope to hold off all comers on Sunday.
S Y SKY
Owner: Nick Alexander; Trainer: Phil D'Amato
The lone California-bred in the lineup, this 5-year-old Grazen mare was brilliant in her five furlong turf debut on April 27 at Golden Gate as she rallied to take the Camilla Urso by 3 ½ lengths at odds of 3-5. Sidelined due to a tendon issue mid-way through her 2-year-old campaign, S Y Sky, who is out of Alexander's Sky Mesa mare Sky Marni, has a remarkable overall mark of 12-6-5-1 and earnings of $542,320. She's no doubt stepping way up in class in what will be her first graded stakes assignment and with Prat sticking with Belvoir Bay, S Y Sky will be ridden for the first time by Drayden Van Dyke.
GRADE II MONROVIA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
- Poster Girl—Evin Roman—121
- S Y Sky—Drayden Van Dyke—121
- Rocky Policy—Ruben Fuentes—121
- Painting Corners—Joe Talamo—121
- Ginger Nut—Rafael Bejarano—121
- A Little Bit Me—Geovanni Franco—121
- Flammetta—Norberto Arroyo, Jr.—121
- Belvoir Bay—Flavien Prat—121
- Gliding By—Mario Gutierrez—121
- Lady Suebee—Victor Espinoza—121
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday, that will also include the Grade II Summertime Oaks, is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
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