Ice Dancing Sharp In GIII Santa Ynez Stakes

January 8, 2023

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.”

Ice Dancing and Flavien Prat take to the winner’s circle (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

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.

Jonathan Stettin is a New York Legend. He's been a Horseplayer, earning his living at the track, since he was 19 years old. @jonathanstettin

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