ARCADIA, Calif. – In her first stakes assignment, the John Shirreffs-conditioned England’s Rose proved more than equal to the task as she displayed an impressive turn-of-foot to rally from off the pace and take Saturday’s $70,000 Swingtime Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, England’s Rose got one mile on turf in 1:33.99.
Taken in-hand out of the gate, England’s Rose who was shortening up off of a 1 3/8 mile turf allowance win, saved ground early and under patient handling and with just two horses to beat at the three furlong marker, rallied impressively while five-deep off the turn for home to win going away.
“Victor did a good job, taking ahold of her and dropping back to save ground early,” said Shirreffs. “She’s got a great finishing kick, so he waited as long as he could, but when those fillies came up inside her around the far turn, he had to go. Now we’ll try to move up (in class). You always like to see them repeat a performance.”
First or second in her last four starts, England’s Rose last started on Sept. 3 at Del Mar. Off as the 7-2 second choice in a field of eight fillies and mares three and up, she paid $9.40, $4.00 and $3.00.
“I was hoping we had enough pace,” said Espinoza, who has ridden England’s Rose in all but one of her seven starts. “You never know before the race. My only thought was that hopefully they would go a little quick…I can’t really change how she likes to run, so it’s one of those things you just have to let the horse do all the work and let her run in the end.”
A 5-year-old mare by English Channel out of the Kris S. mare Gingham and Lace, England’s Rose is owned by Mercedes Stables, LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds, Scott Dilworth, Dorothy and David Ingordo and Steve Mooney.
With the winner’s share of $46,320, England’s Rose has earnings of $159,450 from an overall mark of 7-3-2-0.
The actual favorite at 7-2, Norma Jean B. was attentive to the pace and took command inside the eighth pole but was no match for the winner late. Ridden by Abel Cedillo, she paid $3.80 and $3.40.
Chilean-bred Brooke, off at 4-1, rallied from off the pace with Kyle Frey and paid $3.60 to show while finishing 1 ¼ lengths better than Avenue de France.
Fractions on the race were 23.02, 46.80, 1:10.70 and 1:22.52.
First post time for a 10-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m.
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Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Office
Photo: Classy England’s Rose rallies to take the Swingtime. (Benoit)