ARCADIA, Calif. (April 15, 2009) – Foxysox has chased Black Mamba three times in graded stakes races with the exception being a nose separation in last year’s Santa Barbara Handicap, a reversal that Black Mamba will attempt to rectify Saturday in Santa Anita’s 61st running of the Grade II, $200,000 competition for fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

The two foreign-bred mares, both of whom are now 6-years-old, could not have appeared more alike then they did on April 19 of last year. Each carried 116 pounds. Black Mamba was sent off at odds of 4.60 to 1; Foxysox , 4.70 to 1. And, at the Santa Barbara wire, Foxysox prevailed by the thinnest of noses. Black Mamba, however, would go on to clearly outrun Foxysox in their next two starts. She captured Hollywood Park’s Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap and Del Mar’s Grade I John C. Mabee Handicap.

Each returns from a layoff in Saturday’s Santa Barbara, with New Zealand-bred Black Mamba assigned high weight of 119 pounds and British-bred Foxysox weighted at one pound less among nine entrants.

The Santa Barbara, complemented by the 42nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs on turf, highlights the 82nd day of Santa Anita’s 2008-09 season that concludes on Sunday. First post for the 10-race program is at 12:30 p.m.

Joel Rosario, third in the jockeys’ standings at week’s beginning with 79 victories, will take over the reins of Doubledown Stables’ Black Mamba, who has not raced since facing males last Dec. 6. She finished fourth behind Champs Elysees in the Grade I Hollywood Turf Cup.

She usually runs well following respites in her racing schedules and has been working strongly for trainer John Sadler in preparation for her return. Sadler began the week three wins behind Mike Mitchell, 38-35, in his quest for a first training championship at Santa Anita. Sadler finished five victories behind Mitchell when the runner-up last year.

Black Mamba launches her comeback with a 4-6-3 record in 23 lifetime starts for earnings of $662,171. Before joining Sadler’s barn in the summer of 2007, she raced with little distinction in her native New Zealand, winning but once in 10 starts. She was never worse than third in her first 11 races for Sadler, nine of them Grade I or Grade II stakes.

Trained by Carla Gaines for Warren B. Williamson, Foxysox has been on the sidelines since Feb. 10 when finishing second in the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita. Regular rider Rafael Bejarano, closing in on his second successive Santa Anita riding title, will be aboard the earner of $711,118 from a 7-3-4 mark in 24 career starts.

Like her rival, Foxysox did not thrive until coming to the United States at the end of 2005 following five losing efforts in England. She promptly won her first four starts in this country including a pair of Grade III events.

Magical Fantasy, who registered a 42-1 stunner in last summer’s Grade I Del Mar Oaks, will be among those attempting to squash a Black Mamba-Foxysox showdown. Alex Solis rides the 4-year-old filly trained by Paddy Gallagher who was assigned 117 pounds. With a 2-4-0 record in 11 trips to the post, Magical Fantasy has banked $332,431. She is owned by the partnership of David Bienstock, Paul Mandabach and Charles Winner.

Bobby Frankel, the meet’s leading stakes winning trainer with eight victories, sends out British-bred Toque de Queda, who has been idle since last Oct 4 when fifth in Woodbine’s Group I E. P. Taylor Stakes. Stakes-placed in France, she previously ran third in Arlington Park’s Grade I Beverly D, her North American debut. Victor Espinoza will be aboard the 5-year-old mare owned by Gary A. Tanaka who will carry 115 pounds. Toque de Queda shows an overall record of 2-1-4 in 12 starts for earnings of $204,594.

The complete field for the Santa Barbara Handicap, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Magical Fantasy, Alex Solis, 117; Step Softly, Michael Baze, 112; Toque de Queda, Victor Espinoza, 115; Persian Express, Martin Garcia, 110; Grace Anatomy, Tyler Baze, 111; Tizfiz, Agapito Delgadillo, 117; Ainamaa, Mike Smith, 114; Foxysox, Rafael Bejarano, 118, and Black Mamba, Joel Rosario, 119.

Desert Code, upset winner at odds of 35-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last October at Oak Tree, is the 122-pound high weight among nine entrants in the San Simeon. Aaron Gryder rides the 5-year-old son of E Dubai who has won 5 of 7 starts over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. Trained by David Hofmans for Tarabilla Farms, Desert Code is the class of the lineup with earnings of $1,088,939 from an overall record of 7-4-2 in 21 starts.

Diamond A Racing’s Tiz West is the second high weight at 117 pounds, but trainer Richard Mandella’s 4-year-old has been off since Aug. 31 at Del Mar, and he’s never won sprinting. The San Simeon will mark his first start over Santa Anita’s testy downhill turf layout. Victor Espinoza rides the Gone West colt who won the Grade III Cinema Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Hollywood Park last summer. Tiz West enters with earnings of $219,348 from a 3-1-2 showing in 9 starts.

Another comebacker, Jungle Prince, who is weighted at 116 pounds, is an 8-year-old who was not victorious in four starts last year after over 1 ½ years on the sidelines following a win in Hollywood Park’s Grade III Hollywood Turf Express in 2006 for trainer Victor Garcia. With earnings of $536,275 from a record of 8-7-7 in 33 career starts, he is the most accomplished runner in the field. Jungle Prince figures to be a big price in the race, as he is winless in five starts down Santa Anita’s hillside course.

Mr Gruff, a lightly-raced 5-year-old gelding trained by Ron Ellis for Gary Broad, and Prussian, a 4-year-old colt trained by Mitchell for Monticule LLC, are coming off impressive wins over the course in allowance events.

The complete field for the San Simeon Handicap, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Euroglide, Michael Baze, 114; Prussian, Bejarano, 115; Doppio, Solis, 115; Tiz West, Espinoza, 117; Jungle Prince, Delgadillo, 116; Headache, Julien Couton, 112; El Merito, Corey Nakatani, 115; Mr Gruff, Rosario, 113, and Desert Code, Aaron Gryder, 122.

The Santa Barbara is scheduled as the ninth race with the San Simeon going as the seventh. The entire card, which gets underway at 12:30 p.m., will be televised by HRTV.