ARCADIA, Calif. — A gem of consistency sprinting, Nick Alexander’s homebred Alice Marble heads a field of seven fillies and mares three and up going one mile on turf in Saturday’s $100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes at Santa Anita.
The Fran’s Valentine is one of five statebred stakes on California Gold Rush Day that are part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
Fresh off three outstanding turf sprints, Alice Marble was most recently second, beaten a half length in the Grade II Monrovia Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf on April 9. A winner of the restricted Wishing Well Stakes two starts back on Feb. 26, she’ll be ridden for the first time by Juan Hernandez.
A 5-year-old mare by Grazen out of the More Than Ready mare Unsung Heroine, Alice Marble will likely be on the lead or close to it in what will be her 11th career start. With four wins, two seconds and a third place finish, she has earnings of $261,180 as she seeks her second added money win.
Although she’ll be making only her second stakes appearance, Next Wave Racing’s Sassyserb comes off a sharp head victory in an open second condition allowance at a one mile on turf April 30 at Golden Gate Fields and she’s won four out of her nine starts, dating back to August of 2019 at a mile on grass.
A 5-year-old mare by Circumference out of the Rock Hard Ten mare Incredible Ten, Sassyserb, who will be ridden back by Joe Bravo, had been trained by Richard Baltas but is now trained by George Papaprodromou. With an overall mark of 18-4-4-3, she has earnings of $219,395.
Most recently second, beaten 2 ½ lengths going a mile and one eighth on turf here in an open first condition allowance, Self Isolation posted sharp gate to wire wins at one mile on grass two and three starts back versus statebreds. On April 1, she took a first condition allowance over well regarded Vivacious Vanessa and three starts back on Feb. 21, she was thoroughly dominant in breaking her maiden by 7 ½ lengths.
Owned and bred by Paul Reddam and trained by Doug O’Neill, Self Isolation appears very much on the improve as she makes her first stakes appearance. With an overall mark of 9-2-2-2, she has earnings of $130,800.
THE $100,000 FRAN’S VALENTINE STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 9 of 9 Approximate post time 5 p.m. PT
- Flying to the Line—Ryan Curatolo—122
- Super Game—Drayden Van Dyke—122
- Fi Fi Pharoah—Kyle Frey—126
- Sassyverb—Joe Bravo–124
- Alice Marble—Juan Hernandez–122
- Self Isolation—Mario Gutierrez—122
- Pulpit Rider—Tyler Baze–126
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m.
Santa Anita Park Press Release
Photo: Benoit Photo