04/05/2015 5:29PM

Enchanting Lady gets ideal trip to win Santa Paula


ARCADIA, Calif. – When the overnight was published for Sunday’s $77,050 Santa Paula Stakes, a smile crept across jockey Martin Garcia’s face when he saw Enchanting Lady drew the outside post in a field of six.

“I was confident when I saw the entries,” Garcia said.

His expectations were accurate. Enchanting Lady had an ideal trip from the outside post position and won the second stakes of her career in the Santa Paula Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita.

Enchanting Lady ($8.60) stalked the pacesetter and 6-5 favorite Sensitively for the first half-mile, took the lead in early stretch, and pulled away without threat to win by 2 1/4 lengths. She was timed in 1:15.01.

The race was not without drama. Sensitively, who faded to finish last by 14 1/4 lengths, fell a few yards after the finish, unseating jockey Joe Talamo. Sensitively was on her feet shortly after the spill and was transported to trainer Phil D’Amato’s stable in the barns. Talamo walked into an ambulance on his own power and was taken to a local hospital for observation of a shoulder.

Tara’s Tango, unraced since winning a maiden race at Del Mar last July, closed from fifth to finish second, three lengths in front of Ben’s Duchess, who had not raced since winning a maiden race here in December. Miss Mandate was fourth, followed by Rattataptap and Sensitively.

Enchanting Lady, by Tale of the Cat, is trained by Bob Baffert for Kaleem Shah. Enchanting Lady was fifth in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 28, her first start since a win in the Landaluce Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs here last June.

Shah said in the winner’s circle that Enchanting Lady is a candidate for the $200,000 Eight Belles Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs May 1 at Churchill Downs.

Garcia is comfortable with that plan of a race over a longer distance.

“I don’t see why not,” he said. “She needed the last race. Now, she was ready.”

Enchanting Lady was purchased for $650,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale of 2-year-olds in-training in March 2014. She has won 2 of 4 starts and earned $134,280.