03/29/2009 12:00AM

In Santa Paula, Carlsbad keeps on winning


ARCADIA, Calif. - Carlsbad remained unbeaten in five races after an easy win in Sunday's $100,000 Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita. She remains untested, too.

After winning her first four starts at Turf Paradise by a combined 50 3/4 lengths, Carlsbad won the Grade 3 Santa Paula by "only" 3 1/4 lengths.

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Carlsbad led throughout the Santa Paula, setting a quick pace of 21.83 and 44.08 seconds before drawing off. Ultra Blend finished second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Pinkarella in the field of five 3-year-old fillies. Empressive Lady, who dueled with Carlsbad for the first quarter-mile, faded to finish last.

Carlsbad ($5) ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.65. The Santa Paula was her first start for trainer Jeff Mullins. At Turf Paradise, while trained by Kevin Lewis, Carlsbad won the Arizona Breeders' Futurity, Arizona Juvenile Filly Stakes and Arizona Oaks from late November to late February.

By Rocky Bar, Carlsbad has earned $154,126 for breeder Dennis Weir. Carlsbad will be considered for the $100,000 Railbird Stakes at seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies on May 10.

Big finish for Liberian Freighter

Liberian Freighter won his first stakes in the $125,000 Sensational Star Handicap, bursting clear in the final furlong of the hillside turf sprint.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Liberian Freighter ($6.60) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:13.02, outfinishing Mr. Wolverine by 1 1/2 lengths. My City by the Bay, who set an early pace of 22.97 and 45.70 seconds, held third in the field of nine California-breds.

Liberian Freighter was second early and took the lead near the eighth pole. The Sensational Star was a breakthrough performance.

The 4-year-old gelding finished second or third in five stakes from June 2008 until last month, including a second by a head in the Crystal Water Handicap here on Feb. 28. The Sensational Star was his first start in a turf sprint since a third-place finish in an optional claimer in January 2008.

Owned by a partnership and trained by Neil Drysdale, Liberian Frieghter, 4, has won 5 of 14 starts and $343,996.