02/21/2011 8:46PM

Cozi Rosie returns with a vengeance in Buena Vista

Benoit & Associates
Cozi Rosie, Mike Smith aboard, wins the Grade 2 Buena Vista in her first start in about nine months.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Cozi Rosie’s 2011 season began with a sharp-looking win in Monday’s $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita, a performance in which she showed no signs of rustiness after a nearly nine-month gap between starts.

The winner of the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes at Hollywood Park last May, Cozi Rosie won the most prestigious race of her career in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap for fillies and mares. Ridden by Mike Smith, Cozi Rosie ($13) rallied from seventh in a field of 10 to win by 1 1/4 lengths over 5-1 Briecat, who led by 2 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole. Malibu Pier, the 3-1 favorite, finished third, a nose behind Briecat.

Winning trainer John Sadler, recording his eighth graded stakes win of the Santa Anita meeting, praised Smith’s patient ride. “It was a perfect ride,” Sadler said. “He let her settle perfectly and she handled the ground okay.”

Cozi Rosie ran a mile on turf in 1:35.94 on a course rated firm. Rain fell from Friday to early Sunday, but the sky was clear on Monday.

Cozi Rosie was seven lengths behind Briecat after a half-mile in 47.44 seconds, and still 5 1/2 lengths behind the leader with a furlong remaining. She closed well while racing four wide, suggesting that the one-mile distance of the Buena Vista will be her minimum trip in 2011.

Owned by breeders Jerry and Ann Moss, Cozi Rosie, 4, has won 4 of 8 starts and $247,280. Cozi Rosie was second in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap in late May last year, and was among the favorites for the Grade 1 American Oaks last July when she was sidelined on the eve of the race.

La Habra: Cambina up in time

Cambina won the $100,000 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the hillside turf course, leading only in the final stride of the race over about 6 1/2 furlongs.

Last until the field crossed from the hillside to the main part of the turf course, Cambina ($8.80) won the Grade 3 race by a nose over Quiet Oasis, who had not started since finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5. Cathy’s Crunches, a 9-1 shot, finished third in the field of 11, with 2-1 favorite Cloneylass finishing fourth.

Cambina was timed in 1:13.75 under jockey Garrett Gomez.

“I got her to settle on the hill,” Gomez said. “I was waiting for a chance to move her outside, so she could finish up. She’s not very big, but makes up for it with heart.”

Trained by Jeff Bonde, Cambina has won 3 of 7 starts and $102,936.