02/15/2009 3:40PM

Sunday Notes


Halfway-through-the-holiday-weekend notes:

--Four of Saturday's six graded stakes were won by runners who started at 10-1 or higher: How's Your Halo ($96.60), General Quarters ($29.00), Santa Teresita ($28.80) and Royal Michele ($22.20). Ballymore Lady paid $14.80 in the Endeavour, and the lone winning favorite was Chocolate Candy ($3.00) in the El Camino Real Derby.

--Saturday's Santa Maria was the fifth Grade 1 race of the year and all of them have been won by horses who ran in last year's Breeders' Cup. Santa Teresita (7th in Zenyatta's F&M Classic) joined Albertus Maximus (Donn/1st in BC Dirt Mile), Ventura (Santa Monica/1st in F&M Sprint), Kip Deville (GP Turf/2nd in BC Mile) and Stardom Bound (Las Virgenes/1st in BC Juvenile Fillies.)

No more Grade 1's for three weeks, when Santa Anita presents a trio on March 7: the Santa Anita Handicap, Santa Anita Oaks and Kilroe Mile. March's two other Grade 1's are the Santa Margarita March 14 and the Florida Derby March 28; only 10 of 2009's 115 Grade 1's are run in the first quarter of the year.

Paseana --Looking at the history of the Santa Maria, first run in 1934, Paseana's name popped out, not just for winning it in 1992 but for finishing second in the race the next three years in a row: She lost by 2 1/4 lengths to Race the Wind in 1993, by a nose to Supah Gem in 1994 and by 4 1/2 lengths to Queens Court Queen as an 8-year-old in 1995, conceding 9, 8 and 5 pounds to those winners respectively.

Paseana won 19 of 36 career starts and finished second 10 times. In addition to those Santa Marias, she ran second in five other Grade 1 races she won in other years -- the BC Distaff, Santa Margarita, Vanity, Milady and Spinster. In all, she started in 22 American G1's, and her record in them was 10 victories, nine seconds and a third.

--At Aqueduct Saturday, the late pick-4 pool was guaranteed at $250,000 for the first time, and maybe that's what attracted a pool of $339,634, up from $281,542 the previous Saturday and $220,237 the Saturday before that.

The winning payoff of $2,373 for $2 for combining Spa Princess ($12.80), First Degree ($5.90), Understatement ($9.60) and Wirebuster ($10.00) was nearly triple the $892 parlay.

Meanwhile, Saturday's Magna 5 attracted a pool of $415,292 and returned $19,888 for $2 for the sequence of Royal Michele ($22.20), Menzendeekron ($7.20), Duke of Homberg ($8.00), Mutak Gold ($6.20) and G's Heavenly Union ($24.80), about 50 percent over the $12,288 parlay.

 --General Quarters' 3 1/2-length victory over Sumo in the newly-G3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Saturday earned a Beyer of 100, the year's first triple-digit Beyer by a 3-year-old of either gender in a race around two turns or longer than seven furlongs. General Quarters, who had lost seven in a row since being claimed for $20k out of his debut at Churchill Downs last May 30, raced without blinkers Saturday for the first time in his career.

--Several tracks usually dark on Mondays are open tomorrow because of the Presidents Day holiday, including Aqueduct, Golden Gate, Laurel, Oaklawn, Santa Anita and Turfway.