In her first lifetime try on turf, Stanwyck, a 3-year-old half sister to 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, was an impressive first-condition allowance winner under Garrett Gomez Monday at Santa Anita, defeating 10 other fillies and mares by 1 ¼ lengths while covering 1 1/8 miles on a “good” turf in 1:48.16.
“We have been wanting to try her on the turf and we thought this was a good opportunity,” said Dottie Ingordo Shirreffs, wife of winning trainer John Shirreffs and racing manager for owner/breeders Ann and Jerry Moss. “We always wanted to try her family on the turf as well…but when they're running and winning so well on the dirt, you hate to try something new. We thought this would be the time to try the turf, early in her career and it looks favorable that we'll keep her there.”
Dispatched as the 5-2 favorite Stanwyck sat mid-pack behind fractions of 23.36, 47.41, 1:11.51 and 1:35.67.
Although she hugged the temporary rail (set at 15 feet from the permanent barrier) into and around the far turn, Gomez didn't intend to have his mount positioned quite that way.
“She's so big and I really didn't want to be inside with her,” said Gomez, who turns 41 on New Year's Day. “A horse came to my hip as we went to the far turn, so I wasn't able to get out. It worked out though, because Gutierrez (Mario, rider of eventual fourth-place finisher Ghost of a Chance) went through an opening and I was able to follow him.”
By Empire Maker, out of the stakes-winning Hold Your Peace mare Set Them Free, Stanwyck is named for 1953's Academy Award winning actress, Barbara Stanwyck. With the winner's share of $34,800, Stanwyck increased her earnings to $95,560 from a record of 6-2-1-3. She paid $7.80, $4.40 and $3.60.
Candy Trophy, the 3-1 second choice in the wagering, made the lead leaving the half-mile pole and finished a solid second, 1 ½ lengths in front of Warren's Got Game and Joe Talamo.
“She was a little too fresh today,” said trainer Ted West, who claimed Candy Trophy out of a $50,000 claiming win at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 9. “She should improve off of this.”
Candy Trophy paid $5.00 and $4.20.
Warren's Got Game paid $4.00 to show.
Santa Anita will be open for live racing on Tuesday, New Year's Day, with first post time for the first of nine races at 12:30 p.m. A Pick Six carryover of $76,959 awaits revelers.
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