04/22/2010 11:00PM

Princess Haya now a Californian


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Princess Haya, who won the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine last September, has joined trainer Carl O'Callaghan's stable at Hollywood Park and will make her California debut in the $100,000 Wilshire Handicap next Saturday.

Owned by breeder Eileen Hartis, Princess Haya has not started since finishing third in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine last fall when trained by Michael Matz.

Hartis, who lives in Sealy, Texas, near Houston, said Princess Haya was sent to California to take advantage of firm turf and favorable weather conditions. Last year, Hartis said, some plans for Princess Haya were disrupted because of wet weather in Maryland, where Matz is based.

"Last year, we had a hard time because the weather was so rainy," Hartis said. "The stakes kept being rained off. We ran here a couple of times in the mud, which we didn't want to do. She doesn't like the mud at all. We decided we like California. The weather is always good."

The 5-year-old Princess Haya has won 4 of 14 starts and $412,901. She placed in stakes at Monmouth Park and Delaware Park last year.

The Wilshire Handicap is one of two Grade 3 stakes at Hollywood Park next weekend. The Wilshire nominees also include Cat by the Tale, who was second to division leader Tuscan Evening in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita in March, and You Lift Me Up, the winner of the Work the Crowd Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last month.

The principal race next Sunday is the $100,000 Senorita Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf.