10/17/2012 2:40PM

Santa Anita: Camelia Rose plunges in class

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Barbara D. Livingston
Camelia Rose is winless in seven starts since coming to the United States, but faces much softer competition Friday at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – A drop in class, from a Grade 1 stakes to an sleepy optional claimer on a weekday, could put Camelia Rose in the winner’s circle for the first time in more than two years at Santa Anita on Friday.

A 4-year-old filly, Camelia Rose is winless in seven starts in the United States this year for owner Paul Reddam and trainer Simon Callaghan. Through the season, she has been second in two allowance races or optional claimers and started in five graded stakes in California and Maryland. Her best result in the stakes was fourth-place finishes in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap in April and the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes on Sept. 29, both at Santa Anita over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

“She’s run some pretty good races in defeat,” Callaghan said. “You can make slight excuses for her.

“It would be nice to get ahead. We’d like to win at this stage.”

Bred in France, Camelia Rose won twice in that country at 2 in 2010 and was later fifth in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary in May 2011.

In the Rodeo Drive, Camelia Rose was beaten 5 1/4 lengths by Marketing Mix, a hopeful for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Nov. 2.

Camelia Rose could run in stakes this fall or winter, if she runs well in Friday’s race over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

“It looks like a good spot for her,” Callaghan said. “There are plenty of options down the line. She’s got a stakes within her compass.”

There are seven fillies and mares in Friday’s race; six have run in stakes this year.

Little Emily won the $50,000 Las Madrinas Handicap at Fairplex Park on Sept. 22 in a 22-1 upset, but was fourth in the Swingtime Stakes over a mile on turf here Oct. 6.

There will be support for I Dazzle, a 4-year-old filly trained by Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg.

I Dazzle was second in an optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 25 in her California debut and sixth in the Rodeo Drive. In that race, she was 12th in a field of 13 to the top of the stretch and closed to finish 8 1/4 lengths behind Marketing Mix.

A two-time winner in Louisiana, I Dazzle should be more effective in this shorter race.