California Fillies Featured In $100,000 Campanile

California Fillies Featured In $100,000 Campanile

     Seven 3-year-old fillies, bred or sired in the Golden State, will match strides over a mile on the turf Saturday in the $100,000 Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

     The Campanile lineup is headed by Unusual Way, a multiple stakes-winner from the Jeff Bonde barn.  Unusual Way won back-to-back sprint stakes last year – the six-furlong Wine Country Debutante at Santa Rosa and the seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Sprint Preview at Santa Anita – but has been settling for minor awards in rich stakes this year.

     Unusual Way opened her 3-year-old campaign with a second-place finish in the $300,700 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 26.  She then ran traveled to New Mexico, where she finished second in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks on March 24.  In her most recent outing on April 27, Unusual Way finished third in the $245,000 Melair Stakes at Hollywood Park.

     Owned in partnership by Phil Lebherz and Edward Brown, Jr., Unusual Way has earned $128,500 in her three starts this year and has banked $312,110 in nine career outings.  Unusual Way is expected to add to her bank account Saturday as she is the 7-5 favorite on the Campanile morning line.

     Russell Baze will ride Unusual Way, who will be making her turf debut.  A bay daughter of Unusual Heat, Unusual Way is bred to like grass.

      The 3-1 second choice in the Campanile is Qiaona, who defeated Unusual Way by a half-length when she scored a 23-1 upset victory in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes.  Qiaona also competed in the Melair and finished fourth, a half-length behind Unusual Way.

     Qiaona, a chestnut daughter of Wilko, is 1-for-1 racing a mile on grass as she broke her maiden on the lawn at Hollywood Park.  Ed Moger, Jr. trains Qiaona, who has earned $259,534 for Moger’s longtime clients, Curt and Lila Lanning.

     Another stakes winner in the Campanile cast is Warren’s Veneda, who broke her maiden in the $62,000 Alphabet Kisses at Hollywood Park on April 27.  Trained by Craig Lewis for owner Benjamin Warren, Warren’s Veneda followed up her stakes victory with a win in a grassy 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Hollywood on May 16.

     Warren’s Veneda, a chestnut filly by Affirmative, was bred by her owner.  Warren’s Veneda is 4-1 on the morning line.

     The field for the Campanile, in post position order with riders and morning-line odds, is as follows: Miz Strawberry Dee, William Antongeorgi III, 15-1; Unusual Way, Russell Baze, 7-5; Qiaona, Juan Hernandez, 3-1; Adriatic Skye, Frank Alvarado, 12-1; Life Is a Stone, Dennis Carr, 9-2; Jaz Unlimited, Kerwin John, 15-1; and Warren’s Veneda, Christian Santiago Reyes, 4-1.

     Racing will be conducted Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.  Post time is 12:45 p.m. each day.

     Golden Gate Fields is a Stronach Group company, North America's leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator.  The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness.  The company is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its Adena Springs operation.  The company owns and operates AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service.  The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.