French-Bred Keyflower Prominent Among 11 Distaffers In Sunday’s Wilshire Stakes

April 29, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif.—In what appears to be a wide open contest among 11 fillies and mares going one mile on turf, trainer Leonard Powell’s French-bred Keyflower rates a big chance as she shortens up a quarter of a mile in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes at Santa Anita.

An impressive one mile turf allowance winner in her U.S. debut Feb. 19, Keyflower was off a bit slow and was rank early in the Grade III Santa Ana Stakes at a mile and one quarter on turf March 26, but in a big effort, was in contention turning for home prior to flattening out a bit late while running fifth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths.

A winner of two of her eight starts in France, she was flown to Toronto to compete in the Grade I E.P. Taylor Stakes at a mile and one quarter of a yielding turf at Woodbine on Oct. 17, a race in which she was only beaten 1 ¾ lengths while finishing sixth.

Owned by Team Valor International and Gary Barber, Keyflower, a 4-year-old filly, will be ridden back by Abel Cedillo.  With a win and two thirds from three tries at one mile on turf, she should appreciate the cutback in distance as she eyes her first graded stakes victory in what will be her 12th career start.

Trained by John Shirreffs and ridden regularly by Victor Espinoza, England’s Rose, a one mile turf restricted stakes winner, enters the Wilshire as a fresh filly, having been idle since a disappointing sixth place finish in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf Jan. 1.  A lightly raced 6-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by English Channel, England’s Rose would benefit from a fast early pace.  Owned by Mercedes Stables, LLC and West Point Thoroughbreds, she seeks her first graded stakes win with an overall mark of 9-3-2-0 and earnings of $165,940.

Another distaffer with a huge chance in Sunday’s Wilshire is the Godolphin homebred Javanica, who showed the way early in the Grade II Royal Heroine Stakes here at one mile on turf April 9, but tired late to finish second by 1 ¾ lengths to multiple graded stakes winner Going Global.

Trained by Eoin Harty, Javanica, who has been graded stakes placed at one mile on grass on three separate occasions, will be ridden for the first time by Joe Bravo, whose primary objective will be to try to ration her considerable speed.  With an overall mark of 14-2-6-1, Javanica, a 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, has earnings of $229,113.

THE GRADE III WILSHIRE STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 9 of 9  Approximate post time 5:10 p.m. PT

  1. Amy C—Ryan Curatolo–122
  2. Javanica—Joe Bravo—122
  3. Canoodling—Juan Hernandez—126
  4. Quiet Secretary—Tyler Baze–122
  5. Keyflower—Abel Cedillo—124
  6. Bye Bye Bertie—Edwin Maldonado—122
  7. Stella Noir—Drayden Van Dyke—122
  8. Carpe Vinum—Ramon Vazquez—122
  9. Eddie’s New Dream—Mario Gutierrez—122
  10. Miss Dracarys—Mike Smith—122
  11. England’s Rose—Victor Espinoza–124

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.

Santa Anita Park Press Release

Photo: Benoit Photo

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