01/14/2012 3:47PM

Santa Anita: Two prospects emerge for Providencia


Indigo River and She Spirit di Su won turf races for 3-year-old fillies on Friday at Santa Anita and could meet in the $150,000 Providencia Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf on April 7.

An import from Ireland, Indigo River won Friday’s second race, an optional claimer, over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course. Ridden by Joel Rosario, Indigo River closed from fourth in a field of five to win by a half-length.

“We thought we might have been a couple of works short,” trainer Jeff Mullins said. “I told Joel, ‘Sit tight and make a run.’ He asked her pretty hard at the end.”

Owned by Michael House, Indigo River had 1 victory in 3 starts in Ireland last year.

The English import She Spirit di Su made her U.S. debut in Friday’s fifth race over a mile for maidens. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, She Spirit di Su closed from ninth in a field of 10 with a five-wide rally to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Trained by Simon Callaghan, She Spirit di Su is owned by the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, a syndicate formed last summer by Aron Wellman.

Winless in two starts in England last year, She Spirit di Su was second in a maiden race last August to Farraaj, who was later third in the BC Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs.

“We didn’t know how good the form would hold up,” Wellman said. “We felt better as time went on.”

The Eclipse-Callaghan team also has the promising 3-year-old turf filly Byrama, who was a troubled third in the Blue Norther Stakes in her U.S. debut on Dec. 30. Byrama is a candidate for the Providencia, Wellman said.