04/02/2015 2:36PM

Prize Exhibit will look to stalk in Providencia

Shigeki Kikkawa
Prize Exhibit will look for a stalking trip in Saturday's Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Patience will be vital for Prize Exhibit in Saturday’s $150,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.

“She would go to the lead if you let her,” trainer Jim Cassidy said.

Instead, Cassidy wants Prize Exhibit to race from a stalking position in the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes, run at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The race has drawn a large field of 13, and strategy will play a key role in the outcome.

The Providencia has drawn a strong field. Prize Exhibit was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf here last October and third in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket, England, last year. The field has two stakes winners – Lutine Belle, who won the Blue Norther Stakes here Jan. 1, and Ol’ Fashion Gal, who won the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar last November.

There are three promising fillies in the field with wins in recent maiden races – Entrechat, trained by Neil Drysdale; Frosty Friday, trained by Mark Casse; and Spanish Queen, trained by Richard Baltas.

:: SANTA ANITA DERBY: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s Santa Anita card live


Prize Exhibit (Beyers: 79-84)

◗ In her lone start this year, Prize Exhibit won an optional claimer at a mile on turf, closing from seventh in a field of nine to win by three-quarters of a length. Mike Smith was aboard for that race but will be replaced by Victor Espinoza on Saturday. Smith is riding Frosty Friday in the Providencia.

◗ Cassidy hopes to see Prize Exhibit have the same trip in the Providencia as she did in the optional claimer.

“Victor has to keep her covered up,” Cassidy said. “She’s trained straightforwardly.”

◗ Deron Pearson owns Prize Exhibit. Cassidy said Prize Exhibit was briefly out of training this year while being inspected for a potential sale, which did not occur. The Providencia is considered a prep for the $400,000 American Oaks here May 30.

:: DRF Live: Watch live handicapping analysis of Saturday’s biggest races, starting at 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Spanish Queen (Beyer: 75)

◗ Spanish Queen ran an ideal race in her career debut, closing from last in a field of eight to win a one-mile maiden race on turf by 5 3/4 lengths March 5.

“Not many horses can do that,” Baltas said.

◗ The jump to a graded stakes is a tough assignment, Baltas said Wednesday.

“It’s a tough spot,” Baltas said. “I’d rather not run in a graded stakes. I think it’s worth taking a shot with her.”