Santa Monica tops Brown trio
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Chad Brown will be holding a strong hand in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes when he sends out Santa Monica, Elysea’s World, and Pollara in the prestigious 1 1/4-mile turf route at Woodbine.
The English import Santa Monica is returning to the scene of her most impressive triumph, a come-from-behind tally over stablemate Inflexibility in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes in the sweltering heat of the Queen’s Plate card in June.
Jockey Jose Ortiz was thrilled with Santa Monica’s performance in the 10-furlong Dance Smartly, and the reigning Eclipse Award winner is back in town for the mount.
“She loves the distance, and is in great hands with Chad Brown,” Ortiz said. “I’ve liked this filly from the first time I rode her at Keeneland, but I feel her best race to date was at Woodbine, so I’m excited to ride her in the E.P. Taylor. She loved the course the last time she won here.”
Santa Monica has started just once since the June 30 Dance Smartly. On Sept. 1, she was a stalking second in the Grade 2 Glens Falls at Saratoga after front-running winner Lady Montdore set dawdling fractions.
A field of nine fillies and mares was drawn for the Taylor, which goes as race 10 on the Canadian International card.
Santa Monica, by Mastercraftsman Last 3 Beyers: 89-100-93
◗ Neither Brown nor Ortiz has won the Taylor. Ortiz was victorious on Oscar Performance in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in September.
Elysea’s World, by Champs Elysees Last 3 Beyers: 94-96-86
◗ The daughter of a Canadian International winner, she’s exiting back-to-back Grade 3 scores in the Violet and Matchmaker at Monmouth.
Pollara, by Camelot NA-NA-NA
◗ A Group 3 winner in France, the 3-year-old is returning from a summer break after working regularly at Belmont. Brown has solid numbers with new acquisitions, and is putting this one on Lasix. Golden Legend, by Doctor Dino NA-NA-NA
◗ She beat the boys last time in a Group 3 event in France. Assistant trainer Benoit Peyrot said she has settled into Woodbine nicely after traveling hassle-free.
“I think she has a good chance,” Peyrot said. “She prefers soft ground, but she handles everything.”
Starship Jubilee, by Indy Wind Last 3 Beyers: 104-93-85
◗ After a slow start to the meet, last year’s Canadian champion turf female romped in an Aug. 6 optional starter, and then won the Grade 2 Canadian on Sept. 15.
“I made a few mistakes with her early this year,” trainer Kevin Attard said.