Venetian Harbor Returns In Saturday’s Monrovia

A two-time graded stakes winner who has been idle since well beaten by Eclipse Champion Gamine in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 7, the Richard Baltas-trained Venetian Harbor heads a field of eight fillies and mares going 6 ½ furlongs on turf in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes at Santa Anita.

Although she looms large on class alone, Venetian Harbor will face serious opposition as she catches a field with four last-out winners and a pair of distaffers that come off of second-place finishes in their most recent starts.

The Keith Abrahams homebred Constantia rates high on the list of recent winners, as she rallied impressively to take an ungraded sprint stakes going six furlongs on turf here April 17 and the Baltas-trained Nasty, a gate to wire ungraded stakes winner here at a flat mile on turf back on Dec. 26, also rates a huge chance.

A winner of Santa Anita’s Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes going a flat mile on the main track in her third start on Feb. 8, 2020, Venetian Harbor was then second as the odds-on favorite to eventual Eclipse Champion 3-year-old Filly Swiss Skydiver in Oaklawn Park’s Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes May 1 and was subsequently second in both the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland July 11 and the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 8. A winner of the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes two starts back going seven furlongs on dirt at Keeneland Oct. 17, Venetian Harbor was never a factor when beaten 16 ½ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 7.

Although she’s be trying a new game with turf on Saturday, Venetian Harbor, in her only start on grass, ran a solid second in her career debut, beaten three quarters of a length going five furlongs at Del Mar on Nov. 15, 2019.

Owned by Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Highland Yard, LLC, River Oak Farm and Domenic Savides, Venetian Harbor, a 4-year-old filly by Munnings out of the Street Cry mare Sounds of the City, will be ridden for the first time by Mario Gutierrez. With an overall mark of 8-3-4-0, she has earnings of $513,400.

Trained by John Sadler, Constantia comes off what appeared to be her best ever performance, as she split horses turning for home and rallied for an impressive 1 ½ length win in the Mizdirection Stakes at six furlongs on turf April 17. A 4-year-old filly by Munnings out of the Belong to Me mare Llandudno, Constantia, unlike Venetian Harbor, has been on turf in all 12 of her career starts, which have resulted in a 4-1-3 mark and earnings of $149,752.

With Umberto Rispoli, who is in search of his 15 stakes win at the current meet, back aboard, Constantia will be making her first graded stakes start in the Monrovia.

Cast as the “Other Baltas,” the LNJ Foxwoods-owned Nasty has an outstanding work tab to her credit, with three bullet moves on Santa Anita’s training track at distances of five furlongs and a half mile. Idle since taking the one mile turf Lady of Shamrock in gate to wire fashion on opening day, Nasty, who sold for $230,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling, will be ridden for the first time by newly transplanted Trevor McCarthy, who notched his first Santa Anita win at 6 ½ furlongs on turf this past Monday.

A 4-year-old filly by Street Sense out of the Lion Heart mare Valiant Passion, Nasty, who was originally stabled with Brad Cox in the Midwest, made her first start for Baltas three starts back in the Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes at one mile on turf Oct. 17—finishing a close third behind multiple stakes winner Warren’s Showtime.

THE GRADE 2 MONROVIA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT

  1. Nasty—Trevor McCarthy—122
  2. Never for Money—Geovanni Franco—122
  3. Constantia—Umberto Rispoli—122
  4. Gypsy Spirit—Edwin Maldonado—122
  5. Trickle In—Tyler Baze—122
  6. She’s So Special—Juan Hernandez–122
  7. Venetian Harbor—Mario Gutierrez—124
  8. Superstition—Abel Cedillo–122

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 Venetian Harbor Returns In Saturday’s Monrovia appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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