Songbird continues to dominate like a superstar; ‘no idea how good she actually may be’

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 8th, 2016


A superstar topped the stakes action over the weekend of the winter/spring meeting at Santa Anita.

Santa Ysabel S. (G3): Fox Hill Farms’ champion SONGBIRD (Medaglia d’Oro) sped to the lead and was never challenged in posting a facile 3 ¾-length rout under the guidance of Mike Smith. The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained sophomore clocked 1 1/16 miles on the fast main oval in 1:43 to remain unbeaten and the April 9 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) is her next scheduled appearance.

Track Stats

From a total of 34 races held at the Arcadia, California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 35 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 56 percent of the wins. From 26 frays contested on the dirt oval, eight animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (31 percent), while three of the eight grassy runs this past week were taken in wire-to-wire fashion (38 percent).

All three of the turf wire jobs came in route races on the lawn this past week. We didn’t think the turf favored pace, though, it was just how the way those races unfolded.

Speed on the main oval was good, but the oval continues to play fairly in a nice run at this meeting. Sunday saw four of the nine winners lead at every call, but we also witnessed horses running well from off the pace.

For the week, five of the wire-to-wire winners came in routes, and the other trio occurred in one-turn races.

Meet Totals












141 (38%)

2nd Choices:


69 (19%)

Turf Wire:


18 (19%)

Dirt Wire:


73 (27%)





Thursday (3/3)

5TH – MYSTERIOUS MIRACLE (Congrats) couldn’t catch the winner in the lane but was a clear second, more than three lengths better than her nearest foe. The Phil d’Amato trainee will be tough next time out with any kind of improvement.

6TH – MAKENA (Pioneerof the Nile) made good in her two-turn debut and the Scott Hansen trainee might be worthy of a stakes try soon after never running a bad race in her career. The four-year-old stormed home from last, getting her final two panels in :23 4/5.

Friday (3/4)

6TH – GUTSY RULER (Tribal Rule) was part of a fast early pace and held well late in what we thought was a very good runner-up performance under Brayan Pena. The Javier Sierra-trained gelding was more than five lengths clear of third and will be winning a lot of races with tries like this.

7TH – NANCY FROM NAIROBI (Sixties Icon) has surely settled in well in the states, recording a very impressive performance in this allowance romp, her second straight score for conditioner John Sadler. The five-year-old mare will being tackling stakes foes of some type in this form cycle.

Saturday (3/5)

1ST – ATYPIQUE (Tapit) made a big late rally after being near the back turning for home and the Richard Mandella pupil put in a fine debut offering. The four-year-old colt finished more than five lengths clear of third and could be a nice prospect going forward, with expected growth off of this try.

5TH – We’ve run out of things to say about the exquisite SONGBIRD, who continues to win in the easiest of fashions. The filly is quite a gem and we have no idea how good she actually may be.

7TH – OHIO (Elusive Quality) did not defeat a great field in his U.S. debut, but the five-year-old made it look easy and intrigues us as he gets acclimated to the states for trainer Paulo Lobo.

Sunday (3/6)

1ST – W. GILES (Swiss Yodeler) made short work of another field and is in lifetime form with a trio of wins in succession for conditioner Kristin Mulhall. The five-year-old gelding was super sharp in this run and figures to be tough wherever he lands next.

3RD – TOLDEO EDDIE (Ministers Wildcat) has been going well of late but we never expected such a dominant effort as the seven-year-old ran off to a daylight victory. The gelding was fast early and late, registering a century-topping BRIS Speed rating for the 15 ½-length decision, and was not claimed out of this race.  

4TH – BLACK TIE’N TAILS (Vronsky) was very professional in this debut performance, rating on the lead and dominating late for Mulhall. The four-year-old gelding came home fairly swiftly for the level and we’d imagine he will be protected in the starter allowance ranks in his return.

A Look Ahead

The $1 million Santa Anita H. (G1) on Saturday tops a huge weekend of racing out here. Also on Saturday is the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1), $400,000 San Felipe S. (G2) and $300,000 San Carlos S. (G2).

Sunday will play host to the $500,000 Santa Margarita S. (G1) for fillies and mares on the main oval.