Ice Dancing takes the G3 Santa Ynez (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif. —With 4-5 morning line favorite Justique scratched earlier, Richard Mandella’s Ice Dancing inherited the role of heavy favorite in Sunday’s Grade III, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita and she did not disappoint, as she rallied for a decisive 3 ¼ length win. With Flavien Prat breaking his stakes drought on day eight of the current Classic Meet, Ice Dancing got seven furlongs in 1:22.78.
An aptly named grey daughter of Frosted, Ice Dancing broke sharply from the far outside in a field of five sophomore fillies and settled nicely into stride in the run up the backstretch. Last, about 3 ½ lengths off pacesetter Fast and Shiny mid-way on the turn, Ice Dancing was well within herself as she angled three-deep at the top of the lane and took command leaving the furlong marker to win as much the best.
Third three starts back in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante, Ice Dancing came off a gate to wire one-mile maiden win Nov. 25 and was off as the 1-2 favorite today, returning $3.00, $2.20 and $2.10.
“She jumped well out of there and it felt like the pace was really strong, so I kind of kept myself off of the pace a little bit and it felt like she was travelling well,” said Prat, who was aboard for the maiden win at Del Mar. “She responded well when I asked her to make her move.”
“It is always great when I win for Mr. Mandella and the Bass’. They were the first ones that gave me a chance when I first came here and I’m really grateful.”
Owned and bred in Kentucky by Perry and Ramona Bass, Ice Dancing, who is out of the Henny Hughes mare Welcome Dance, picked up $
“She’s a big, strong filly, so the Las Virgenes (Grade III, one mile on Jan. 28) is a big possibility,” said Mandella when asked about her next engagement. “More than likely…We’ll have a look.”
Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, the Doug O’Neill-trained Satin Doll rallied well at the rail through the lane and finished second by a head over Fast and Shiny. Off at 12-1, Satin Doll paid $4.80 and $3.00.
One of three Bob Baffert entrants, Fast and Shiny, who was off at 11-1 with Ramon Vazquez, finished seven lengths in front of stablemate Parody and paid $3.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.02, 44.68 and 1:09.29.
The Santa Ynez is a qualifying race to the Grade I Kentucky Oaks on May 5 and thus provided Ice Dancing with 10 Oaks qualifying points.