Santa Margarita: A race to mark on your calendars

One of the more attractive filly and mare races in quite some time could take place at Santa Anita on March 12 in the $300,000 Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes.

Won last year by 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, the Santa Margarita, a 1 1/8-mile dirt race, figures to draw the following standout distaffers:

* Switch — Trained by John Sadler, the 4-year-old filly has shown the ability to win around one or two turns. She finished second in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs, but is being pointed toward the 2011 Ladies’ Classic. She’s known as the filly who almost upset Zenyatta in the Lady’s Secret Stakes during the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meet.

* Always a Princess — Leave her alone on the front end, and it’s virtually impossible to catch this Bob Baffert-trained filly, who went gate to wire to win the $150,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 13. She’d be the speed of the speed in the race if she goes.

* Blind Luck — Thought by many to be the second best female race horse in America last year behind only Zenyatta, the 4-year-old filly has found a pace problem of late. Her two losses this year came in races where she had no pace to run at over Santa Anita’s speed-favoring main dirt track. She’d bring a four-race losing streak into the Santa Margarita if she runs, but make no mistake about it, Blind Luck is a very talented filly.

* St Trinians — Like Switch, this 5-year-old mare almost slayed Zenyatta in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park, but then she got an extended break because of body soreness and returned to finish third behind Vision in Gold and Zardana in the $150,000 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 12. It was a race that figures to set her up well for the Santa Margarita.

If all four of the aforementioned fillies and mares run, it figures to be one heck of a Santa Margarita.

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