Upstart Park Avenue may rate edge in Saturday’s La Canada Stakes

December 30, 2021

In search of her third consecutive win in what will be her first stakes assignment, John Sadler’s Park Avenue rates a big look in Saturday’s Grade III, $200,000 La Canada Stakes as six older fillies and mares go a mile and one sixteenth.

Fresh off a game victory in the Grade III Bayakoa Stakes at Los Alamitos, Bob Baffert’s As Time Goes By, the leading money earner in the field, looms as the probable post time favorite.

A disappointing third in the Bayakoa Dec. 5, Richard Mandella’s Moonlight d’Oro will try to regain the form that saw her win the Grade III Las Virgenes Stakes here three starts back on Feb. 6.

Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, Park Avenue pressed the pace and went on to an impressive five length maiden win going one mile two starts back on Oct. 29 and she followed that up with another five-length score going a flat mile in a first condition allowance Dec. 12 at Los Alamitos when ridden for the first time by Juan Hernandez, who sticks with her on Saturday.

A $450,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase in 2019, Park Avenue is a 4-year-old filly by Quality Road out of the Indian Charlie mare Remarkable.  With an overall mark of 6-2-2-1, she has earnings of $104,700.

The likely post time favorite, multiple graded stakes winning As Time Goes By enters the La Canada fresh off an impressive 1 ¼ length win as the even money favorite in the Bayakoa going 1 1/6 miles.  A winner of two Grade II stakes here earlier this year, the Santa Maria on May 22 and the Santa Margarita on April 24, As Time Goes By has three wins and as many second from six Santa Anita starts.

Trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith, this 5-year-old daughter of American Pharoah is 12-5-3-1 with earnings of $535,600 and will be ridden back by Flavien Prat.

Second two starts back after stumbling at the break of an ungraded one mile stakes at Del Mar Nov. 3, Moonlight d’Oro fetched $620,000 out of the same Keeneland sale Park Avenue graduated from.  With her Las Virgenes victory, she’s 6-2-2-2 overall with earnings of $195,790 and will be ridden for the first time by Mike Smith.

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

Race 9 of 10    Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT

  1. Moonlight d’Oro–Mike Smith–122
  2. Cowboys Daughter–Kyle Frey–120
  3. Fi Fi Pharoah–Umberto Rispoli–120
  4. Velvet Slippers–John Velazquez–120
  5. Park Avenue–Juan Hernandez–120
  6. As Time Goes By–Flavien Prat–122

Santa Anita Press Release

Photo: Benoit Photo

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