12/30/2010 7:50PM

Santa Anita: 'Princess' leads all the way


Celtic Princess, a Group 1 winner in Brazil in 2007, won for the first time in the United States in Thursday's seventh race, leading throughout an optional claimer over a mile on turf.

Ridden by Omar Berrio for trainer A.C. Avila, Celtic Princess won by 1 3-4 lengths over Talktoomuch, the 9-5 second choice. Late Cuddle, the slight favorite at 9-5, could only finish fourth in the field of six fillies and mares, never posing a threat to the winner.

Celtic Princess led through fractions of 23.77 and 46.89 seconds and finished in 1:34.32.

A 6-year-old mare, Celtic Princess was making her first start since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron Stakes in Chicago last May. She won the Group 1 Linneo de Paula Machado over about 1 1-4 miles on turf in Brazil in October 2007, and was third to males in the Brazilian Derby a month later.

Thursday's race was her first win in seven starts in the United States.