ARCADIA, Calif.—In her first Southern California start, 6-year-old Brooke Marie sat close to a slow early pace and kept to her task through the lane to prevail by a half-length in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes, which was contested at about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. Ridden by Juan Hernandez and trained by Eddie Kenneally, who remained in Kentucky, Brooke Marie got the trip in 1:13.42.
Second, a neck off of eventual runner-up Alice Marble at the top of the stretch, Brooke Marie was between horses with Tapwater a half-length back to her outside as John Velazquez and Tobys Heart drove up the rail, but in a resolute performance, Brooke Marie, who shipped in from Keeneland, prevailed in what was her first-ever graded stakes victory.
“On paper, it looked like there was going to be one speed horse (Alice Marble) and my filly broke really fast,” said Hernandez, who was aboard the bay mare by Lemon Drop Kid for the first time. “She put me right there. She was enjoying the trip and I just sat behind (Alice Marble) and waited for them to cross the dirt to kick to the wire.
“I like her, she’s really professional, she crossed the dirt really good and then soon after that I asked her a couple of time and she passed the other filly.”
Most recently third in an ungraded stakes going 5 ½ furlongs at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Brooke Marie was off at 9-2 in a field of six older fillies and mares and paid $11.20, $5.00 and $3.60.
Owned by Castleton Lyons, Brooke Marie is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Mamasez. With the winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her bankroll to $408,730.
Ridden by Edwin Maldonado and trained by Phil D’Amato, Alice Marble was the second choice at 2-1 and paid $4.00 and $3.00 while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Tobys Heart.
The 9-5 favorite, Tobys Heart paid $2.80 to show while finishing 1 ½ lengths better than Irish-bred Royal Address.
Fractions on the race were 23.05, 45.55 and 1:07.62.
Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes Quotes
Juan Hernandez, Brooke Marie, Winner: “On paper it looked like there was going to be one speed horse, the number one (Alice Marble) and my filly broke really fast. She put me right there. She was enjoying the trip and I just sat behind the one and waited for them to cross the dirt to kick to the wire. I like her, she’s really professional, she crossed the dirt really good and then soon after that I asked her a couple of times and she passed the other filly.”
Edwin Maldonado, Alice Marble, Second: “There was no speed in the race, so we went right to the front. My horse ran a big race, we just didn’t have enough in the end.”
John Velazquez, Tobys Heart, Third Place: “It was the first time I had the opportunity to ride her. She broke quite nicely, but I was able to get in a good position behind one and three. But then she got flat.”
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Brooke Marie (Benoit Photos)