ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2022)–Fifth on dirt going seven furlongs on opening day, Dec. 26, the Mike Puype-trained Canoodling was able to set slow fractions and steal Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita, as she held on to win by half a length while getting one mile on turf in 1:37.30 under New Mexico-based Roimes Chirinos, who notched his first-ever win and graded stakes win at The Great Race Place.
Off at 22-1 in a field of seven older fillies and mares, Canoodling broke from the far outside and seemed to relish the change in surface and stretch out.
“There wasn’t much speed in this race, but her pedigree is set right to do this today, she’s by Pioneerof the Nile,” said Puype, who saddled Canoodling to a fifth place finish in the Grade I La Brea Stakes on Dec. 26. “We felt she could route on the turf. Todd Fincher (New Mexico-based trainer) had left her with me and this is where he wanted to run right after that last race and I just got her ready the best we could.
“The jock did a good job. He nursed the fractions along good and we had no pace pressure. The fractions were slow and when they came to get her, she had plenty left.”
A winner of one of four races on turf, Canoodling paid $47.40, $12.40 and $5.80.
“What a great day for me,” said Chirinos, a 38-year-old native of Venezuela. “It’s my first graded stakes win in this beautiful country and at Santa Anita. It is unbelievable. She’s a tiny, little filly but she’s got a really, really big heart and she always tries hard. Today they made it easy for me because they let me walk the first half and I thought wow, if they let me go like this, they will never pass me.”
Owned by Lori Owens’ B-4 Farms, Canoodling, a 4-year-old filly by Pioneerof the Nile out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Miz Kella, notched her third stakes win and improved her overall mark to 14-7-1-2. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $278,023.
The 8-5 favorite, Warren’s Showtime lacked room at the rail heading into the far turn and again in deep stretch and finished second in a huge effort. Ridden by Juan Hernandez, she paid $3.40 and $2.80 while finishing a game nose better than Avenue de France.
Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, French-bred Avenue de France rallied from last to finish third by a head over second choice Bodhicitta. Off at 24-1, Avenue de France paid $5.40 to show.
Fractions on the race, all set by the winner, were 25.30, 49.87, 1:14.51 and 1:25.87.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Canoodling (Benoit Photo)