Santa Anita - Santa Maria Stakes, February 15, 2014

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Matt Carter

February 14th, 2014

Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes Santa Anita Saturday, February 15, 2014 Race 8, Post Time 7:24 pm ET

Trainer John Shirreffs had a disappointing start to the racing week at Santa Anita when Eblouissante lost on Thursday, but STANWYCK can get the barn back on the winning track in the Santa Maria. The Empire Maker mare finished second to GOLDEN PRODUCTION in the Paseana last month over the track, but that was her first race off nearly a three month layoff so she should be fitter for this run. STANWYCK will have to bring her "A" game because contention runs deep. The morning line favorite for the race is FIFTYSHADESOFHAY, but her stable mate ONDINE may offer more value. The Bob Baffert duo exit the La Canada Stakes with ONDINE getting the better of the two by a half length, unfortunately that was for third place. ONDINE has improved second start off layoffs before and may be a bit more relaxed ride early with the jockey switch to Mike Smith. Not sure what this means, but Smith rode FIFTYSHADESOFHAY last out while Martin Garcia rode ONDINE; now they switch. If one is bet over the other, that may give some clue as to how the barn feels. LET FAITH ARISE will be closing with STANWYCK and projects to be in front of that one turning for home. She was second, beat a neck by long shot Spellbound, in the La Canada, which was her first race off a two month layoff. GOLDEN PRODUCTION needs to improve off her win in the Paseana, but with Kent Desormeaux riding as well as he is, anything is possible.