Santa Margarita Competitors Line-Up

For four year old fillies and older, the Grade I Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap is one of the most popular events of the year, and is hosted by the Santa Anita Park Racecourse in California. With the show down between Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra in the Apple Blossom Handicap looming, which takes place on 9 April 2010, both fillies have started preparations. Rachel Alexandra will be making her 2010 debut at the New Orleans Ladies’ Stakes on the weekend, while Zenyatta will be facing eight competitors in the 2010 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap.

As the Santa Margarita was inaugurated in 1935, this prestigious horse racing event will be hosted for the 73rd time this year. It has a purse amount of $250 000, and the unbeaten Zenyatta will be looking at keeping her racing career unblemished. Even though she will be carrying a little more weight than usual, her trainer, John Shirreffs, is not worried, as Zenyatta is a big horse and she has proven in the past that weight does not influence her that much. She won the Vanity Handicap last year carrying 129 pounds, so the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap should be a comfortable race for her.

In the starting gates, in post position order and including weight, will be: Dance to My Tune (111 pounds), ridden by Martin Garcia; Pretty Katherine (111 pounds), ridden by Joel Rosario; Made for Magic (111 pounds), ridden by Omar Berrio; Pretty Unusual (113 pounds), ridden by Chantal Sutherland; Striking Dancer (115 pounds) ridden by Alex Solis; Powerofvoodoo (108 pounds), ridden by Tyler Kaplan; Gripsholm Castle (112 pounds), ridden by Victor Espinoza; Zenyatta (127 pounds), ridden by Mike Smith; and Floating Heart (111 pounds), ridden by Joseph Talamo. Jockey, Mike Smith, did express some concern about the weight, but also added: “And if she gets her opportunity, I think she’s going to run big first time back. I mean she’s really ready. She’s ready for something right now and she’s certainly training like it anyway. And this — I’m really looking forward to it.” Both Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra’s races will be broadcast by HRTV, and fans of these magnificent horses will be looking closely at their debut performances.