06.28.2015

Silent Name's Fanticola Soars in G2 Royal Heroine S.

Forget the nose loss to Queen of The Sand in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap on April 18, or......

Forget the nose loss to Queen of The Sand in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap on April 18, or the neck loss to Hard Not to Like in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes on May 25.

Fanticola put those tough defeats into the past when she won the first graded stakes of her career in Saturday’s $201,000 Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita. The win ended months of frustration for trainer Phil D’Amato and owners Tony Fanticola and Joe Scardino.

Watch the Royal Heroine Stakes here

“No more seconds,” D’Amato said as he left the winner’s circle following the Grade 2 race for fillies and mares. “This is vindication for the last two. She’s improving.”

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Fanticola was always near the front, stalking pacesetter Birdlover, the 3-1 second choice. Fanticola took the lead in the final furlong and was pressed to the wire, finishing a neck in front of 2-1 favorite Queen of The Sand.

“She settled great off the other filly and ran a great race,” Talamo said.

Fanticola ran a mile on turf in 1:36.76. She was never farther than a half-length behind Birdlover, who set fractions of 23.44 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48 seconds for a half-mile. Queen of The Sand closed from seventh with a determined run to just miss.

Fanticola, a 5-year-old mare by the Sunday Silence stallion Silent Name, has won 5 of 17 starts and earned $468,300. She has now won or placed in eight stakes events, all in Southern California.

Another Silent Name five-year-old, the multiple stakes winner Silent Treat, pushed her career earnings over $350,000 on Saturday with a sharp runner-up finish in the $100,000 Zadracarta Stakes at Woodbine. 

-edited from www.drf.com

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06.28.2015

New Stakes Winner for Tiago

Viva Majorca capped a productive Churchill Downs meet for both himself and trainer Ian Wilkes by......

Viva Majorca capped a productive Churchill Downs meet for both himself and trainer Ian Wilkes by rallying to win the final stakes of the meet, the $67,750 Kelly’s Landing on Saturday night.

A son of Grade 1 winner Tiago, Viva Majorca raced three times at this meet, winning twice. After taking an optional-claiming event during the meet’s opening week on April 30, he came in off a creditable fourth in the Grade 3 Aristides Stakes on May 30 behind Alsvid, champion Work All Week, and Nates Mineshaft.

The Kelly’s Landing was the 16th victory of the meet for Wilkes, who finished third in the trainers’ standings. The trainer, who also won the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes with Island Town at this meet, wasn’t on hand for Saturday’s race, as his son Brodie graduated from the Irish National Stud’s program this weekend. Saddling Viva Majorca in his stead was mentor and close friend Carl Nafzger.

“Ian learned a lot about this horse last year,” Nafzger said of Viva Majorca, who was picking up his first stakes win. “He decided to get him to relax a little more. You’ve seen today, when he relaxed, he ran big. When he relaxes, he runs big; otherwise, he’ll run a little bit too much. But otherwise, he’s a great horse.”

Under Brian Hernandez Jr., Viva Majorca indeed relaxed early, running eighth of nine through the first half-mile of the seven-furlong tilt as Good Lord took the field through opening splits of 22.60 seconds and 45.17. Good Lord repelled a mild challenge from Brewing around the turn and shook clear by two lengths into the stretch before the late closers pounced.

Schivarelli came on between horses, inhaling the leader virtually in tandem with Viva Majorca, who rallied widest of all. Viva Majorca got up to win by half a length, with Good Lord holding third, another 2 1/4 lengths back. The final time was 1:22.12.

“We sat back, and when I called on him, he ran home really nice and finished up great,” Hernandez said. “He ran big. He showed up. I think the seven-eighths might be his best way.”

Winner of the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and over $2.3 million, Tiago is the sire of 15% stakes horses from starters in his first two crops.

-edited from www.drf.com

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