Camilla Urso Stakes Provides Tough Test For Handicappers

Camilla Urso Stakes Provides Tough Test For Handicappers

     How wide open is Saturday’s $50,000-added Camilla Urso Stakes at Golden Gate Fields?  Six of the eight entrants in the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares are 6-1 or less on the morning line.

     The lukewarm 3-1 favorite is English Royal and she’s followed by Rowdy Gal at 7-2 and Distinctive Yolie at 4-1.  Hidinginplainsight is 9-2 while Cathy’s Crunches and I’m Tops are both 6-1.  The two outsiders in the field at 15-1 are Sweetly Peppered and Madoffwiththemoney.

     Golden Gate Fields odds maker Steve Martinelli admitted he struggled with the Camilla Urso. 

     “I spent a half hour on this race and I could have spent two hours,” said Martinelli.  “The contentiousness of this race is mind-boggling.”

     Chuck Dybdal, the Northern California correspondent for Daily Racing Form, penned the following lead for his advance on the race: “Saturday’s $50,000-added Camilla Urso at Golden Gate Fields promises to be as difficult a race to win as it is to handicap.  The six-furlong Tapeta sprint attracted a field of eight fillies and mares, each of whom has a legitimate shot at winning.”

     English Royal, trained by William E. Morey, has been victorious in eight of her 22 career races and posted an impressive 4 1/2-length win in a six-furlong allowance race on Jan. 19.  In her most recent start in a six-furlong allowance dash on Feb. 10, English Royal was beaten a neck by Distinctive Yolie, who was aided by soft fractions (a half-mile in :46.48) in scoring a front-running victory.

     Distinctive Yolie has three wins and a second in eight career starts and is trained by Keith Nations, who claimed the filly for $20,000 Oct. 26 at Golden Gate Fields.  Distinctive Yolie crossed the wire first in the claiming race but was disqualified from the win for drifting out in deep stretch.  Distinctive Yolie upset English Royal in the Feb. 10 allowance race in her first start for Nations.

     Rowdy Gal, based at Hollywood Park and trained by John Sadler, has been idle since shipping in to win a six-furlong allowance at Golden Gate Fields on March 22, 2012.  Rowdy Gal won the race by a nose over I’m Tops, who also hasn’t started since that outing.  I’m Tops, formerly trained by the late Bud Klokstad, is now conditioned by John Anderson.

     Hidinginplainsight, trained by Mike Puype, has finished in the money in seven of her nine races and ships in from Santa Anita for the Camilla Urso.  Cathy’s Crunches is a multiple stakes-winner who hails from the barn of leading trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. 

     Sweetly Peppered, who has earned $220,100 while under the tutelage of trainer Alex Paszkeicz, ran third at odds of 36-1 in a six-furlong allowance raced on Dec. 26 at Golden Gate Fields.  Madoffwiththemoney, trained by Steve Miyadi, ran third in a sprint stakes at Del Mar last summer.

     The Camilla Urso is the seventh race on a nine-race program and will be run at approximately 3:50 p.m.  Post time for the first race is 12:45 p.m.

     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.