02/10/2013 4:40PM

Santa Anita: More Chocolate likely to skip Santa Maria in favor of Santa Margarita

Shigeki Kikkawa
Trainer John Sadler says he wants to make sure More Chocolate, winning last month's La Canada, stays fresh enough to be prepared for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic in the fall.

More Chocolate, the winner of the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies on Jan. 20, is unlikely to start in Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles.

Trainer John Sadler said on Sunday that he is leaning toward passing the Grade 2 Santa Maria in favor of the $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes, a Grade 1 over 1 1/8 miles on March 16.

“I could change my mind and run,” Sadler said. “She’s doing fine.”

More Chocolate has run twice at this meeting, having finished third in the Grade 3 Robert Frankel Stakes on turf on Dec. 30. Sadler said his decision to skip the Santa Maria is based on having her ready for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic here in November.

“It’s more of a year plan, and how many races I want to run her in,” Sadler said. “I want her to be good at the end of the year.”

The Grade 2 Santa Maria will have a small field. The leading contenders are Book Review, who was second in the La Canada; and Snow Fall, the winner of the Paseana Handicap on Jan. 13.