Be sure to tune in on Saturday to The Great Race Place because we've got the $100K Santa Barbara Stakes (G3). It is a one mile and one-half journey over the Santa Anita lawn, for Fillies and Mares of three years and upward.
The Santa Barbara had long been a classic-distance race, but was modified in 2018 to be run at twelve furlongs. There's been only two runnings so far; the 2020 renewal was skipped. The current stakes record is held by CAUSEFORCOMMOTION from her 2019 score, stopping the clock at 2:26.91. She earned an Equibase Speed Figure (ESF) of 108 for her effort.
This year, a field of eight will line up at the starting gate:
CATCH THE EYE
START OF AFRICA
GO BIG BLUE NATION
GO BIG BLUE NATION from the seventh-hole looks tough here for trainer Michael McCarthy. Last time out, in an Allowance Optional Claiming race at ten furlongs, she defeated two of the rivals she'll be facing here: CATCH THE EYE and CARPE VINUM. She was 18-1 when she did it, but the fact that it was off a four-month layoff and still earned a 101 ESF, puts her competitively in the mix. Another plus is she gets Umberto Rispoli in the irons for the first time.
In preparation for this event, GO BIG BLUE NATION worked four furlongs in 48.40, the 10th fastest of 27 works at that distance at Santa Anita.
RIDEFORTHECAUSE is the second entrant for trainer Michael McCarthy. She's a Grade 2 winner at Woodbine and was last seen in the Royal Heroine Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita where she finished 7th. She's another who was making her first start off a layoff, but the race she laid off was the Robert J. Frankel Stakes (G3), where she earned a respectable 100 ESF. She should be much sharper this time around. Jockey Mario Guitierrez will pilot her as she stretches to 12 furlongs for the first time.
Note that she is the daughter of CANDY RIDE, out of a GIANT'S CAUSEWAY mare, DANCEFORTHECAUSE, which hints that she could excel with the added distance. CANDY RIDE was a Grade 1 winner at ten furlongs, GIANT'S CAUSEWAY a Grade 1 winner at twelve. In preparation for this race, she worked five furlongs on May 1st at Santa Anita, going 1:01.20 as the 15th fastest of 44 works at that distance.
TAPWATER will break from post three for trainer Richard Mandella.The daughter by TAPIT was last seen in the Royal Heroine (G3), competing with RIDEFORTHECAUSE at one mile, wherein she finished a respectable fourth. She earned a 98 ESF that day, and if she improves off that effort she'll be tough to beat. Flavien Prat will ride her for the first time as she stretches four furlongs further than she has ever run. Note her sharp workout from earlier today at Santa Anita, going three furlongs in :36 flat handily, the 2nd fastest of 14 works at that distance.
Rounding out the field are: NEIGE BLANCHE, CATCH THE EYE, STAR OF AFRICA and DYNAPOWER.