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Santa Anita: Mechaya doing too well to stay on sidelines
ARCADIA, Calif. – Mechaya was meant to have a quiet start to the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting – until she worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 on Dec. 22.
The workout gave trainer John Sadler a reason to start Mechaya in an optional claimer for 2-year-old fillies over seven furlongs on Monday as a prep for the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 21.
“My thought was to hold her until the end of the month, but she’s doing so well,” he said.
Mechaya drew the rail in a field of six in the fifth of nine races on Monday. Mechaya is the only filly in the field who lost her last start. Sallyana won the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity at Turf Paradise on Nov. 24, while Lady Rosamond, Rosewhitenblue, and Tap the Magic each won a maiden race. Lady Rosamond, trained by Bob Baffert, may go favored.
The optional claimer will be Mechaya’s first start at Santa Anita since she was a well-beaten second to Beholder in an October allowance race over six furlongs. It is safe to say the form of that race held up. Beholder won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here on Nov. 2.
Mechaya did not start in the Breeders’ Cup. An Ontario-bred owned by Doubledown Stables, she was sent to Woodbine for the Glorious Song Stakes on Nov. 11. Sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the seven-furlong race, Mechaya took off at the start and led by as many as 6 1/2 lengths under jockey Patrick Husbands. Mechaya was caught in the stretch and faded to finish third, beaten 3 1/2 lengths.
“She kind of ran off at Woodbine,” Sadler said. “To her credit, she held on. She’s ratable. She just took off on him a little bit.”
Lady Rosamond was second in her debut here on Oct. 21, and won a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 17. She led throughout and held off a late threat by Lotsandlotsofhope to win by a nose.
Monday, Lady Rosamond and Mechaya are likely to be near the front. A fast pace could work in favor of Rosewhitenblue. A filly by Olmodavor, Rosewhitenblue won her debut by 8 1/2 lengths at Calder on Oct. 28 in a five-furlong race on the main track.
Rosewhitenblue was trained by Kathleen O’Connell for that race and has since been sold and transferred to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
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