INGLEWOOD, Calif. (March 14, 2012)—Ellafitz, who began her current three race win streak with a victory in the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap last Dec. 4 at Betfair Hollywood Park, will try for another score in the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Saturday at Santa Anita.
A Grade I for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, the Santa Margarita is the eighth of nine races. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 10:15 a.m. for simulcasts.
Owned by Don and Ella Sivage’s D&E Racing LLC and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Ellafitz followed her 3 ¼ length win in the Bayakoa with two more gate-to-wire victories. The 5-year-old Tiznow mare took the Paseana Handicap by 4 ¼ lengths Jan. 15, then won the Grade II Santa Maria by 1 ¼ lengths Feb. 18.
Out of the Dixieland Band mare Skat Girl, Ellafitz has won six of 14 and earned $397,957. She will try to become the first Bayakoa winner to repeat in the Santa Margarita since Starrer won for owner George Krikorian and trainer John Shirreffs in 2003.
From inside out, the field for the Santa Margarita: Miss Mittagong, Mario Gutierrez rides, 118 pounds; Love Theway Youare, Joel Rosario, 118; Kayce Ace, Victor Espinoza, 118; Ellafitz, Martin Garcia, 120; Include Me Out, Joe Talamo, 118 and Awesomemundo, Mike Smith, 118.
The St. Patrick’s Day program also includes the 18th running of the $100,000 Irish O’Brien at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. The race for California bred fillies and mares is headed by multiple stakes winner Unzip Me. The Irish O’Brien, which has seven other entrants, goes as the fourth race.
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