In her second start off a lengthy absence, trainer Eric Kruljac's Causeforcommotion fairly ran her competition off their feet in winning Saturday's Grade III, $100,000 Santa Barbara Stakes by nine lengths. Second in the Santa Barbara a year ago, the 5-year-old mare by Americain negotiated a mile and one half on turf under Geovanni Franco in 2:26.91.
A close second down the hill and heading up the backside behind Animosity, Causeforcommotion took charge heading into the far turn and by the time she hit the quarter pole, it was lights-out.
“She was getting really good a year ago, and then she had to be turned out for a little vacation, so we've been waiting a long time,” said Franco. “Eric was confident she would run well because of the way she's been training. She's still improving from what she showed last year. As you saw, she just galloped through the stretch.”
Turned out following a win in the ungraded Possibly Perfect Stakes on June 3, Causeforcommotion, who is out of the Giant's Causeway mare Causey, was most recently third in a one mile turf allowance on April 14.
Off at 6-5 in field of five fillies and mares three and up, Causeforcommotion paid $4.40, $2.60 and $2.10.
“She makes it easier to get up in the morning,” said Kruljac. “We had to give her a little time, she had a little injury/mishap, an issue with a suspensory, but we caught it early at Del Mar and instead of giving her three months off, we gave her six or seven. She has come back a monster. Before she would not leave horses, hopefully that is all behind her.
“She had the tendency to get the lead and then wait on them, (that's why) we lost a couple of races, including last year's Santa Barbara…Her father (Americain, by Dynaformer) was a champion horse in Australia, United Emirates and Europe. He won the Emirates Melbourne Cup (November, 2012). I practiced my G'day mate!”
Owned by Kruljac, E. Dunham, Jim Reed, J. Sondereker, D. & S. Yip, et al, Causeforcommotion, in notching her first graded stakes win, picked up $60,000 for her efforts, increasing her earnings to $263,910 from an overall mark of 16-4-5-3.
Ridden by Alonso Quinonez, Lynne's Legacy rallied from last to be second, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of French-bred Guiliana. Off at 9-2, Lynne's Legacy paid $3.80 and $2.40.
Guiliana, who loomed menacingly heading into the far turn, had little punch through the drive and finished third by a neck over early pacesetter Animosity. Off at 5-2 with Flavien Prat, Guiliana paid $2.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 24.86, 48.01, 1:12.51, 1:37.35 and 2:02.12.
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