10/25/2015 6:01PM

Baruta goes out on high note, wins Maddy Stakes in final career start

Benoit & Associates
Baruta, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, wins her first stakes in the final start of her career in the Sen. Ken Maddy.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Nearly two years after her arrival in California, Baruta earned her first career stakes win Sunday in the $100,750 Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes for fillies and mares on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.

The Grade 3 Maddy was Baruta’s last chance for such a prize. After the race, a representative of owner Rio Dois Irmaos LLC said Baruta will be sent to Kentucky to be bred.

The victory was a reflection of the effort trainer Richard Mandella and his team have made to change Baruta’s previous style of racing on or near the lead.

“She finally learned how to relax and take everything in stride,” Mandella said by phone from Kentucky, where he is preparing Beholder for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.

Baruta ($11.60) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:12.96 under jockey Rafael Bejarano. Baruta was third on the hillside portion of the course and took the lead when the field crossed onto the main turf course. Baruta had a half-length advantage with a furlong to go and won by 1 3/4 lengths over the 7-1 Velvet Mesquite.

Theatre Star, a 7-2 shot, closed from seventh in a field of eight to finish third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Baruta. Amaranth was fourth, followed by Chati’s On Top, Kool Kat, Off the Road, and Spirit of Xian. Chati’s On Top was the 5-2 favorite.

Baruta, by the Sadler’s Wells stallion Crimson Tide, races for Rio Dois Irmaos LLC and has won 6 of 21 starts and earned $313,558. She began her career in Brazil, where she was unsuccessful in two stakes, including the Group 1 Brazilian Oaks.