Hollendorfer’s Vasilika To Defend G2 John C. Mabee Title

by | 08.28.2019 | 5:44pm
Jockey Flavin Prat has a moment with Vasilika after their victory in the Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes, Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.© BENOIT PHOTO

A field of 10, topped by defending race champion Vasilika, was entered Wednesday for Saturday's $200,000 Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Vasilika has won eight of her last 10 starts, all but one in graded stakes, while building career earnings of more than $1.3 million. Vasilika was ridden by Julien Leparoux to a third-place finish in the Yellow Ribbon on August 19 while regular jockey Flavien Prat was at Saratoga to ride Bellafina. Prat will be back in the irons Saturday.

Trainer Richard Baltas will saddle both Elysea's World and Quebec.

Elysea's World has four Grade III stakes wins in the last 18 months but hasn't hit the board in three tries at the Grade II or Grade I level. Most recently the 6-year-old Irish-bred mare was fifth, beaten 2 ½ lengths by Beau Recall, in the Grade II $200,000 Yellow Ribbon here on August 3.

“Elysea's World is doing really well,” Baltas said. “The (Yellow Ribbon) was a little short for her, she needs longer, but she came out of it well.”

Quebec, a 5-year-old daughter of Into Mischief, was the runner-up to Mabee rival Toinette in a mile allowance on August 7, beaten 1 ½ lengths.

The field from the rail: Vasilika (Flavien Prat), Paved (Victor Espinoza), La Force (Mike Smith), Toinette (Rafael Bejarano), Ahimsa (Brice Blanc), Ippodamia's Girl (Ruben Fuentes), Juliet Foxtrot (Drayden Van Dyke), Quebec (Norberto Arroyo, Jr.), Elysea's World (Joe Talamo) and Meal Ticket (Kent Desormeaux).

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