10/12/2013 7:52PM

Santa Anita: Qiaona rallies to take California Distaff Handicap

Benoit & Associates
Qiaona, ridden by Corey Nakatani, goes from last to first in the California Distaff.

ARCADIA, Calif. – A ground-saving ride by jockey Corey Nakatani aboard Qiaona led to an upset win for the 3-year-old filly in Saturday’s $100,500 California Distaff Handicap at Santa Anita.

Qiaona rallied from last of seven California-bred fillies and mares through the stretch and won by a half-length over pacesetter Ismene.

“He saved ground off the turn, and that’s why we won,” trainer Ed Moger Jr. said of Nakatani.

Qiaona ($19.60) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:11.66. Qiaona caught Ismene in the final sixteenth. Bella Viaggia, the 9-10 favorite, could only finish third, followed by Mia Lady, Tasty Treat, Pahiatua, and Dancingtothestars.

Bella Viaggia raced behind horses in early stretch. Jockey Gary Stevens pulled Bella Viaggia to the outside for running space with a furlong remaining, but the filly was unable to gain sufficient ground.

Qiaona, who races for Curt and Lila Lanning, made her first start against older fillies and mares in the California Distaff. She won the $300,000 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies here in January and an optional claimer on turf for 3-year-old fillies at Del Mar in August.

By Wilko, Qiaona has won 4 of 15 starts and earned $439,994.

morton erskine More than 1 year ago
As I have stated before, Nakatani is one of the .top riders in America today.......... Wake up California trainers !!!!
Jerome Moynihan More than 1 year ago
Nakatani seems to me the master when he's got a decent mount on the downhill course.Bella was probably best,but Corey was in better position
iknownothing114 More than 1 year ago
Congrats nak nak u made my day yesterday u took the pick 4 nice
Surasak More than 1 year ago
Nak won 4 races in the roll! Amazing.
Goldhybrid More than 1 year ago
Quiona raced against Doinghardtimeagain at least four times, visible in the company line. Doinghardtimeagain won a maiden special weight, a 196K stakes, a 200K stakes, a 245K stakes, a G2 race. And she came in second as a two year old racing in the Cal Cup Juvenile fillies. Quiona was raced smartly against Doinghardtimeagain and was going up as well. She deserved to be a single.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Good handicapping Gold. My sentiments exactly. The price was overlay-ed, because of Bella Viaggia. I had Nakatani on three of the last four races. Didn't use him in the last and it cost me the pick four. Hindisght 20-20. Could have just played the Nakatani pick four. lol damn it!
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Still a good jock, no longer first call and that's sad. Wish nak could get some better horses some real contenders
paul27787898 More than 1 year ago
I was in the same boat. I did make a nice win bet in the last though, Not 16k but 11-1 was a decent conso. 4 in a row, unreal.