ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 6, 2021)–Separated by a half length when they last met in May, Brazilian-bred Jolie Olimpica and Australian-bred Oleksandra head a field of seven older fillies and mares going six furlongs on turf in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes at Santa Anita.
Originally run at about 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s Camino Real Hillside Turf Course, the 47th edition of the Las Cienegas will be contested for the first time ever out of Santa Anita’s all-new turf chute.
Idle since running a big second in the Grade I Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland going a mile and one sixteenth on turf July 11, the Richard Mandella-trained Jolie Olimpica took last year’s Las Cienegas at 5 ½ furlongs on turf in her U.S. debut four starts back on Jan. 11, 2020 and is a two-time graded stakes winner over the Santa Anita lawn.
A Group I winner in her native Brazil, Jolie Olimpica, in her third start for Mandella, held off a late surge from Oleksandra to prevail by a half length in the Grade II Monrovia Stakes going 5 ½ furlongs on turf here May 25. Although Oleksandra had a full head of steam, she never got by Jolie Olimpica on the gallop-out in what was a very impressive win.
Trained by Neil Drysdale, Oleksandra was most recently ninth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint versus males on Nov. 7 and returns to her home turf with the services of regular rider Joel Rosario. A winner of the Grade I Jaipur Stakes going six furlongs on the Belmont Park turf two starts back, she rallied from far back to be second, beaten a half length by Jolie Olimpica in the Monrovia.
In what will be her first stakes assignment, veteran trainer Art Sherman’s Acting Out will be bidding for her third consecutive win with regular rider Abel Cedillo up. Forwardly placed in all three of her wins to date, this 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Blame seems to relish a fight and has won her last two allowance sprints by a combined 10 ¼ lengths. A maiden 5 ½ furlong turf winner here in her second start, Acting Out has three wins from five starts.
THE GRADE III LAS CIENEGAS WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 9 of 10 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
- Bohemian Bourbon–Juan Hernandez–120
- Charmaine’s Mia–Drayden Van Dyke–120
- Acting Out–Abel Cedillo–120
- Lighthouse–Umberto Rispoli–122
- Superstition–Flavien Prat–120
- Oleksandra–Joel Rosario–122
- Jolie Olimpica–Mike Smith–122
Press Release/ Santa Anita- Photo Credit: Benoit Photo