03/13/2011 7:51PM

Santa Anita: Little filly Cambina shows big heart in China Doll

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BENOIT PHOTO
The 3-year-old filly Cambina, under Garrett Gomez, finishes fast to capture the China Doll.

ARCADIA, Calif. - A small horse with a big kick, Cambina won her second straight stakes race on Sunday at Santa Anita, utilizing her furious finish to capture the $80,500 China Doll Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Cambina ($4.60), the favorite, knifed between horses in the stretch run and rallied from fifth, roaring through a sub-23 second final quarter to win by three-quarters of a length under jockey Garrett Gomez. Cathy’s Crunches finished second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Wallstreeter.

Cambina was timed in 1:35.70 on the firm turf course.

“She’s not very big, but she’s mighty,” Gomez said. “She’s got a really mean turn of foot. She accelerates really hard. Those little legs go 100 miles an hour.”

Cambina won the Grade 3 La Habra Stakes sprinting on the hillside turf course in her previous start. She is now 2 for 3 since arriving from Ireland, where she was purchased by bloodstock agent Mersad Metanovic on behalf of a partnership that includes Anthony Bilich, George Schmitt, Rick Mace, Dennis Raihall, and the father-and-son team of Steve and Jason Cline. A daughter of Hawk Wing, Cambina has now won 4 times in 8 starts.

“She’s a mini Megahertz,” Metanovic said.

Her trainer, Jeff Bonde, said Cambina would come back on April 9 here in the Grade 2, $150,000 Providencia Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf. After that, her connections would like to run her in the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 6.