Saturday, October 25, 2008


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 24, 2008) – With local favorite Black Mamba never threatening as the 7-5 choice, Roshani overtook fellow Easterner Rosinka Friday to win Oak Tree’s Grade II, $250,000 Las Palmas Handicap by one-half length while negotiating one-mile over Santa Anita’s turf course in 1:34.32.

Second choice at 5-1 in the event that followed Zenyatta’s triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic, Roshani’s win closed out the Ultra Pick Six on the Ladies Day portion of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Winning tickets returned $16,800.60.

Ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Todd Pletcher, Roshani closed strongly from sixth in the field of 13 to gain her seventh victory in 13 career starts. Rosinka, with Jeremy Rose aboard, finished three-quarters of a length ahead of third-place Lemon Chiffon and jockey David Flores.

New Zealand-bred Black Mamba, who had never finished worse than third in 11 previous races since coming to the United States, rallied mildly to check in seventh after trailing during much of the early running.

The winner paid $13.80, $7.40 and $6. Rosinka returned $9.60 and $7.20 while Lemon Chiffon paid $8.60 to show.

Roshani had won her only previous outing at Santa Anita when taking an allowance event last March. The 5-year-old mare’s only dull career outing had come in her last start at Keeneland on Oct. 30. She ran seventh in the Grade I First Lady Stakes, beaten 11 lengths by Forever Together. Two races earlier on Friday, Forever Together had won the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

“It was a tough race for her,” Pletcher said of the First Lady. “She probably needed that race, but she’s run well over this course. She’s a very consistent race mare.”

Velazquez said his biggest concern was making the lead too early. “I wanted to wait as long as I could,” he said, “because when she makes the lead too early, she waits on the other horses.

“It couldn’t have turned out any better, but I thought maybe I had waited too long and that we wouldn’t be able to catch them. But it worked out in the end. She ran great.”

Roshani’s win was worth $150,000 to owner Ron Mcelroy. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Fantastic Light’s career earnings rose to $481,300.

Following Saturday’s nine Breeders’ Cup races that get underway at 10:10 a.m., Oak Tree will present a pair of stakes races for 3-year-olds, the $100,000 Damascus Stakes at seven furlongs and the Grade II, $150,000 Oak Tree Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

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