On Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita, racing fans had an opportunity to see both the present and the future of California’s filly and mare turf division in action. Coincidentally (or not?), both involve jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Phil D’Amato.
Royal Heroine S. (G2)
The present took the form of Charmaine’s Mia, a tenacious winner of the $200,000 Royal Heroine S. (G2). Previously victorious in the Las Cienegas (G3) and Buena Vista (G2) during the Santa Anita winter meet, Charmaine’s Mia was favored at 3-5 to add the Royal Heroine to her resume, and the five-year-old daughter of The Factor delivered on expectations.
Racing a flat mile over the Santa Anita lawn, Charmaine’s Mia put her front-running speed to good use under Prat, dashing to the front through fast fractions of :22.59, :46.02, and 1:09.86. Clear by two lengths at the eighth pole, Charmaine’s Mia had to dig deep when challenged by stretch-running Dogtag, but ultimately held on to prevail by a half-length in 1:33.76. Warren’s Showtime, Tapwater, Laura’s Light, Raymunda’s Secret, Rideforthecause, and Ippodamia’s Girl completed the order of finish.
“For some reason she’s really good out there,” said Prat of the winning mare. “She always leaves really fast and she relaxed down the backside and responded when it was time to go. I was hoping she would break like she did and take advantage of it; otherwise, I would probably sit and get her to relax. She’s really brave and she was training really hard.”
Conditioned by D’Amato on behalf of Agave Racing Stable and Rockin Robin Racing Stables, Charmaine’s Mia has gone 3-for-3 since arriving in California and could be bound for a Grade 1 win if she maintains her current form.
Providencia S. (G3)
But the future of California’s filly and mare turf division appears equally bright. In the $100,000 Providencia S. (G3) for three-year-old fillies, 7-10 favorite Going Global unleashed an eye-catching rally to score a narrow victory.
Despite getting bounced around at the start, and racing wide behind slow fractions of :24.38, :49.00, and 1:13.35, Going Global produced the winning kick under Prat’s guidance. Dashing the final three furlongs in approximately :34 4/5, the daughter of Mehmas swept into contention on the outside and edged the rail-rallying Closing Remarks by a well-measured neck, completing the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:48.50. Sensible Cat, Ivy League, Quattroelle, Royal Address, and Derby Quest trailed the field.
“We just broke OK. We got bumped around at the start, but then we settled in and we found a good spot,” said Prat. “The pace was slow, but when it was time to run, she responded really great.”
D’Amato conditions the Irish-bred filly, who went 1-for-4 in her native country before rattling off victories in the Sweet Life (G3) and China Doll S. at Santa Anita this winter. With three victories from as many stateside starts, the bay filly is clearly a talented prospect for owners CYBT, Michael Dubb, Saul Gevertz, Michael Nentwig, and Ray Pagano.
“She keeps getting better and better,” said Prat. “We won at six furlongs, a mile, and now a mile and an eighth.”
D’Amato likewise praised Going Global’s talent and progress.
“I always thought a lot of this filly’s ability. It has just kind of been one race after another to assess how far she’d go,” explained D’Amato. “Last time when she went a mile, I went down there to watch her cool out and she was just as cool as a cucumber, she wouldn’t have blown out a match. I had a good feeling that this race at a mile and an eighth was well within her reach.”
With the question of distance answered in resounding fashion, the Aug. 8 Del Mar Oaks (G1) racing 1 1/8 miles at Del Mar looms as a viable long-term goal for Going Global.