Warren’s Veneda surges to victory in Santa Maria Stakes

Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – Co-favorite Warren’s Veneda rallied from
last to win Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita.

Trained by Craig Lewis and ridden by Tyler Baze, Warren’s Veneda was the 9-5
co-favorite in the eight-horse field of older females along with La Canada
Stakes winner Thegirlinthatsong. Both trailed the field in the 1 1/16-mile

The two favorites rallied around the far turn with Warren’s Veneda gaining the
lead at the top of the stretch. The 5-year-old mare came wide into the stretch
and surged to the wire, posting a 2 3/4-length victory over 52-1 longshot

“I guess when you’re the best horse, that’s what you do (go wide and win),”
Lewis said. “I was a little uncomfortable with her being that wide, always.
I’ve seen too many races in my life. It takes a very good horse to overcome
that trip, but Tyler (Baze) knew what he had and didn’t want to get stopped,
so everything worked out well.”

Thegirlinthatsong got up for third with Legacy in fourth followed by Valiant
Emilia, Sweet Marini, Yahilwa and Awesome Baby. Backintheacademy and Tiz
Midnight were early scratches.

The time for the Santa Maria was 1:43.18 on a fast track.

Warren’s Veneda, owned by breeder Benjamin Warren, added $120,000 to her
bankroll. The 5-year-old chestnut mare has earned $587,612 with seven wins in
21 lifetime starts.

“She’s an Amazon. She’s a pretty girl and a pretty girl that can run,” the
trainer noted. “She reminds me of another good filly I had, Valentine Dancer.
We’ll probably come back in the Santa Margarita ($400,000, 1 1/8 miles on
March 14).”

Baze had been aboard Warren’s Veneda her previous four starts as she worked
her way up to victory in the Paseana Stakes on Jan. 11. The mare was second to
Tiz Midnight in Los Alamitos’ Bayakoa Stakes on Dec. 6 one year after
finishing third in the race at Hollywood Park.

Warren’s Veneda paid $5.60, $3.40 and $2.60. Uzziel returned $38.40 and
$11.60, and Thegirlinthatsong paid $2.60 to show.