Chilean-Bred Sanenus Takes Charge Early And Wins Grade III, $200,000 La Canada Stakes By Six Lengths – Benoit Photo
ARCADIA, Calif. –Ridden for the first time by Umberto Rispoli, Chilean-bred Sanenus made what appeared to be a premature move, but instead, the race was over early, as she took command around the far turn en route to an impressive six length win in Saturday’s Grade III, $200,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Michael McCarthy for owner/breeder Matriarca, Sanenus got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:45.44.
Third, just a half length off of dueling leaders Fighting Mad and Hard Not to Love, Rispoli decided to press the issue heading to the half mile pole and was large and in charge mid-way around the far turn.
“I’ve been on her several times in the morning,” said Rispoli. “I knew she was a very good filly. Today, I asked her a bit at the half mile pole and she responded well. At the top of the stretch, she was looking around and I was just hoping she was going to stay focused. She finished well and I think she has more there.”
A Group I winner at age three in her native Chile, Sanenus was most recently third in the Grade III Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs Nov. 21 and was off at 7-1 today in a field of seven older fillies and mares, returning $17.00, $8.20 and $4.60.
Today’s La Canada marked the first stateside win in her fourth try for McCarthy and with the winner’s share of $120,000, Sanenus now has earnings of $219,700. A 5-year-old mare by Scat Daddy out of the Tale of the Cat mare Belgian Chocolate, Saenus now has five wins from 12 career starts.
“Umberto did a great job, he had to niggle a little bit at her to kind of keep her in the game around the first turn,” said McCarthy. I thought she was in a great position up the backside and she went up to engage those fillies leaving the half mile pole. At the quarter, she had her ears up and I love the way she opened up. The La Canada has a great history and a lot of really nice mares have won this race over the years and this is a nice race to have on her resume.”
Ridden by Mike Smith, Miss Stormy D rallied to be second by a nose over Hard Not to Love and paid $12.00 and $5.80 while off at 14-1.
Hard Not to Love, who was the second choice at 3-1, was done early and finished third, 6 ½ lengths clear of Never Be Enough. Ridden by Ricky Gonzalez, Hard Not to Love paid $3.00 to show. Fighting Mad, the 4-5 favorite with Abel Cedillo, was also a pace casualty and had no answer for the winner five sixteenths from home, finishing fifth. Fractions on the race were 23.30, 46.37, 1:11.28 and 1:38.20.