By Chris Lomon/ @ChrisLomon
May 20, 2021 – The Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes and Grade 3 Honeymoon Stakes share the spotlight on Saturday’s nine-race card at Santa Anita.
Carrying a purse of $200,000, the Santa Maria has attracted four starters for the 1 1/16-mile main track event for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and upward. It goes as race two.
As Time Goes By has finished in the money in each of her six starts. To be ridden by Mike Smith, the 4-year-old daughter of American Pharoah arrives at the Santa Maria off a victory in the Grade 2 Santa Margarita on April 24 at Santa Anita.
After a third and second, respectively, to begin her career, As Time Goes By reeled off back-to-back scores, including a sharp allowance win in January to launch her 2021 campaign.
Ce Ce, a 5-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality, rebounded from a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff to win an allowance race at Santa Anita and now heads back to the stakes ranks.
Miss Stormy D finished second to Ce Ce in that allowance race and is looking to get back into the win column since breaking her maiden in February 2020.
“AS TIME GOES BY will draw a lot of attention from the bettors off that wire-to-wire score in the Santa Margarita,” said Peter Lurie (@Peterlurievo), Host/Analyst for the Santa Anita Park simulcast show. “But the McCarthy trained CE CE will be my selection based on her overall class in the race. The daughter of Elusive Quality scored an eye-catching win over allowance foes in her return off the layoff, and is already proven at the distance. She is very tactical pace-wise, and I won’t be surprised if she is forwardly placed early. Last year’s Eclipse Award finalist appears ready to pick up where she left off in 2020.”
Canadian Horse of the Year and American older female Champion Glorious Song won the 1981 edition of the Santa Maria. She was the grand-dam of Serena’s Song, the 1996 winner of the Santa Maria and a U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee.
Jockey Laffit Pincay has won the Santa Maria six times. His first victory came aboard Susan’s Girl in 1973 and his last in 1985 on board Adored.
The Santa Maria was held for the first time in 1934 during the first year of racing at Santa Anita Park. It was contested as an age-restricted race prior to 1952 and at a variety of distances before its current 1 1/16 miles established in 1957.
The Honeymoon Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies, has drawn seven hopefuls and will be contested at 1 1/8 miles over the turf. It goes as race seven, with a post time of 7 p.m. ET.
A daughter of Vancouver (Aus), Madone took her first three starts before an eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. In her first start this year she won the Grade 3 Senorita by a length after stumbling at the start. The dark bay is 4-0-0 from five starts.
Golden, a chestnut daughter of Tapit, finished second in the Senorita, but was demoted to sixth for interference.
World traveler Going Global is undefeated in all three of her U.S. starts, which includes triumphs in the Grade 3 Providencia and Grade 3 Sweet Life. All four of her 2-year-old starts came in Ireland.
Midnight Diva takes the stakes stage for the first time in her career. The daughter of Midnight Lute heads into the Honeymoon in winning form after a gutsy nose nod on April 25 over 1 1/8 miles on the Santa Anita turf.
“GOING GLOBAL is undefeated since coming to the U.S. and is already proven at the distance,” offered Lurie. “She is a tenacious fighter down the lane, making her tough to get by. GOLDEN will be making her 9-furlong debut, but is absolutely bred to do so. Rispoli takes over after a troubled trip last time out. Expect the daughter of Tapit to be rolling in the final 1/8th of a mile for trainer Richard Mandella.”
First post for Saturday’s card at Santa Anita is 4:00 p.m. ET.
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