Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is on quite a roll at Santa Anita right now -- he won the ungraded Wishing Well with Purim's Dancer last Sunday, the G2-San Marcos with Slim Shadey (GB) on Saturday, Feb. 9, and today the G2-Santa Maria on the back of Great Hot (BRZ).
Breaking from the rail and wearing blinkers, Great Hot went right to the lead in the Santa Maria, with post time favorite Book Review shuffling back to fourth place in the five horse field. After clicking off a moderate split of 23.94 in the opening quarter, Stevens and Great Hot slowed things down to 48.19 and 1:12.11 through the next two intervals. After running the fourth quarter mile in 24.31, Great Hot had plenty of gas left in the tank to hold off the favorite in the final furlongs, running the last split in a solid 6.66 seconds under a hand ride from the Hall of Famer.
Book Review and Joe Talamo put in a valiant effort in the stretch drive but the winner's legs were too strong; Book Review finished second by a half length. Early pace presser Lady of Fifty faded to third and second choice Snow Fall could do no better than fourth of five.
Great Hot is a five-year-old mare by Orientate out of a Seeking the Gold mare (That's Hot), trained by A. C. Avila, ridden by Gary Stevens, and bred and owned by Brazian stable Coudelaria Jessica, Inc.
Elsewhere around the country on Saturday:
- Funny's Approval won the G2-Barbara Fritchie at Laurel.
- Amira's Prince (IRE) won the G2-Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream.
- Starformer wins the G3-Very One.
- Swift Warrior wins the G3-Tampa Bay Stakes
Below are the payouts, fractions and internal splits for the Santa Maria Stakes:
|1-Great Hot (BRZ)||$20.80||$5.60||$3.40|
|5-Lady of Fifty||$2.80|
|Base||Bet||Combo||Payout||Pays to -|