In the trio of graded turf stakes on Santa Anita Derby Day, Going Global made it look easy in her Royal Heroine (G2) comeback, Kentucky invader Brooke Marie plundered the Monrovia (G2), and Cairo Memories wired the Providencia (G3).
Royal Heroine (G2)
Going Global performed as a 3-10 favorite should in the $196,000 Royal Heroine, going a perfect 5-for-5 on the Santa Anita turf for owners CYBT, Michael Dubb, Saul Gevertz, Michael Nentwig, and Ray Pagano.
New pilot Umberto Rispoli was alive to the lack of meaningful pace in the mile affair, and accordingly positioned the Phil D’Amato pupil right off frontrunning Javanica. Perched just a length behind fractions of :24.59 and :48.35, Going Global accosted the leader at the six-furlong mark in 1:10.86 and poured on the speed. The daughter of Mehmas quickened to a 1 3/4-length decision in 1:33.97.
“She’s an unbelievable filly, an incredible score,” Rispoli enthused. “I got a feeling in the morning, 20 days of working her and she did everything great, I said I couldn’t wait to see what she really can do on the raceday. She did it really easy today, I didn’t face a real opposition really, with all respect. She proved she’s a really good filly.
“It is not her usual style of running,” Rispoli added, “but when the race comes up, sometimes you have to change something. From my experience if you have a good horse, you just have to be up there no matter the field…Everything went well.”
Javanica was a clear second by 2 1/4 lengths from D’Amato’s other filly, Excelerina, and Avenue de France brought up the rear in the quartet. Park Avenue, who would have contributed to the pace, was withdrawn.
Going Global’s scorecard stands at 13-8-1-0, $769,280. The Irish import is 7-for-9 stateside, including victories in the 2021 Del Mar Oaks (G1), Goldikova (G2), Honeymoon (G2), Providencia, China Doll S., and Sweet Life (G3). Her losses were a second in the San Clemente (G2) and a sixth in the off-the-turf American Oaks (G1) in her latest Dec. 26, a dirt attempt that D’Amato regrets in hindsight.
“Although a small field, she was very impressive,” her trainer said after the Royal Heroine. “She did it very easily. Umberto got her to relax and she did everything very well today. That last one on the dirt, that was my mistake. I should have never run her that day. She had a nice freshening since then and she responded very well. We are going to keep her on the grass the rest of the year and see where we are at year’s end.”
Bred by N. Hartery in Ireland, Going Global won at Dundalk in her Emerald Isle finale for trainer Mick Halford. The bay is out of the Invasor mare Wrood, who is also responsible for Group 3-placed Finans Bay and multiple stakes-placed sophomore Mitbaahy. She hails from the extended family of brilliant highweight juvenile filly Tiggy Wiggy.
Santa Anita Derby Day kicked off with a terrific duel in the $200,500 Monrovia, where Brooke Marie wore down Cal-bred Alice Marble late. Trained by Eddie Kenneally for Castleton Lyons, the 4.60-1 chance completed about 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill course in 1:13.42.
Alice Marble held a narrow lead from Brooke Marie through the opening quarter in :23.05. Brooke Marie put her head in front passing the half in :45.55, but Alice Marble regained the lead in upper stretch. The farther they went, however, the stronger Brooke Marie’s challenge, and Alice Marble succumbed by a half-length.
“On paper,” winning rider Juan Hernandez noted, “it looked like there was going to be one speed horse, the number one (Alice Marble) and my filly broke really fast. She put me right there. She was enjoying the trip, and I just sat behind the one and waited for them to cross the dirt to kick to the wire. I like her, she’s really professional, she crossed the dirt really good and then soon after that I asked her a couple of times and she passed the other filly.”
Tobys Heart, the 1.90-1 favorite, couldn’t get nearer than third, another 1 3/4 lengths adrift. Next came Royal Address, Tapwater, and Cover Version.
Brooke Marie’s resume reads 15-6-3-2, $408,730. The six-year-old is now 3-for-4 since her current connections purchased her for $210,000 at Keeneland’s Horses of Racing Age Sale last April. She broke through with her first stakes score in the Dec. 4 Pan Zareta S. at Fair Grounds and finished third in the Jan. 29 Frederick P. Aime Memorial.
Brooke Marie was bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss and David Ingordo. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid initially sold for $70,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. Her dam, the Giant’s Causeway mare Mamasez, is a half to Grade 2 scorer Alpha Kitten, and second dam Alpha Mama is a full sister to Grade 1 vixen Marylebone.
Just minutes before her “nephew” Zandon rolled in the Blue Grass (G1), Cairo Memories wired the $100,500 Providencia in grand style. The Cairo Prince filly had tried the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail herself, with mixed results. A good second in the Starlet (G1), Cairo Memories was beaten a long way in seventh in the Santa Ysabel (G3), and trainer Bob Hess Jr. switched her back to the lawn here.
Despite a rather sloppy break, the 2.90-1 chance regrouped to take the early lead with Mike Smith. The Hall of Famer nursed her along through splits of :24.08 and :48.31, then dialed up the tempo in 1:11.72 and 1:35.61. Cairo Memories extended her margin to 4 1/2 lengths at the wire, polishing off 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.33.
“I wanted to go right to the front, but she didn’t break good,” Smith said. “Once she got going, she showed how aggressive she can be and got a good enough break to get the lead. I knew she was better than that last race. She got so much dirt thrown in her face, she didn’t want to run. I think she is a different horse on the grass, and she showed it today.”
The stalking Sterling Crest settled for second, with 1 3/4 lengths to spare from Gold Dragon Queen, and Eleuthera rounded out the superfecta. Lucky Girl, the 2.20-1 favorite, was lit up early in pursuit of the winner and wilted to fifth. Sixteen Arches trailed.
Campaigned by David Bernsen and Schroeder Farms, Cairo Memories was improving her resume to 6-3-1-0, $292,500. The $50,000 Keeneland September yearling began her career with two resounding scores on turf, including the Surfer Girl S., and her only loss on this surface was a troubled ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
Cairo Memories, like Zandon, was bred by Brereton C. Jones in Kentucky. The gray is a half-sister to Zandon’s dam, Memories Prevail, both out of the Indian Charlie mare Incarnate Memories.