Distaffers Ce Ce, As Time Goes By Square Off In Santa Maria Stakes

A two-time Grade 1 stakes winner at age four and fresh off a sensational classified allowance win, Bo Hirsch’s homebred Ce Ce and lights-out Grade 2winner As Time Goes By headline Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita. For fillies and mares three and up, the Santa Maria has attracted a field of five at a mile and one sixteenth.

Trained by recent Preakness Stakes-winning conditioner Michael McCarthy, Ce Ce slingshotted off the turn for home en route to an emphatic 3 ¼ lengths score in a seven furlong classified allowance here on April 17 and will be ridden back by Victor Espinoza.

A 3 ¼ length winner of the Grade 1 Beholder Mile here in her sixth career start on March 14, 2020, Ce Ce then took Oaklawn Park’s Grade 1 Apple Blossom by a head at the same distance on April 18, 2020, but was a disappointing third as the 3-5 favorite in last year’s Santa Maria and was on a four-race losing streak prior to winning her comeback race on April 17.

Ridden to all five of her victories by Victor Espinoza, Ce Ce is a 5-year-old mare by Elusive Quality out of Hirsh’s Grade 1 winning Miss Houdini, by Belong to Me. The leading money earner in the field with $904,100, Ce Ce has a win and two thirds from three tries at the Santa Maria distance.

Trained by Bob Baffert, As Time Goes By made an easy lead as the 3-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Santa Margarita Stakes here on April 24 and exploded through the lane to win off by 9 ¼ lengths under Mike Smith, who rides back on Saturday. Owned by Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith, As Time Goes By, who was second, beaten 2 ¾ lengths by Eclipse Champion Swiss Skydiver two starts back in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile March 13, is 6-3-2-1 overall with earnings of $260,600.

THE FIELD FOR THE GRADE 2 SANTA MARIA WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 2 of 9 Approximate post time 1:30 p.m. PT

  1. Last First Kiss—Abel Cedillo—122
  2. This Tea—Kent Desormeaux—122
  3. Miss Stormy D—Juan Hernandez—122
  4. Ce Ce—Victor Espinoza—122
  5. As Time Goes By—Mike Smith—126

First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

The post Distaffers Ce Ce, As Time Goes By Square Off In Santa Maria Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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