Going Global following her win in the Del Mar Oaks
Freakishly good in her first seven starts last year for Phil D’Amato, Irish-bred Going Global returns to her preferred surface as she heads a field of five older fillies and mares going one mile on turf in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.
A winner of six out her eight stateside starts, all stakes, dating back to her US debut in the Grade 3, six-furlong Sweet Life Stakes on turf Feb. 14, 2021, Going Global’s wins included five graded victories, topped by the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on turf three starts back on Aug. 21.
A subsequent winner of the Grade 2 Goldikova Stakes at one mile on turf Nov. 6, she was the 4-5 favorite in the Grade 1 American Oaks, originally scheduled for turf, but in her first-ever try on dirt she never threatened while sixth, beaten 15 ¼ lengths on a wet-fast surface finishing going a mile and one quarter Dec. 26.
With a steady series of drills on Santa Anita’s inner training track, which D’Amato’s turf runners have utilized with a high degree of success, Going Global should be extremely tough at a distance she relishes.
Owned by CYBT, Michael Dubb, Saul Gevertz and Michael Nentwig, Going Global, who had one win from four Irish starts at age two, has two wins from three tries at a mile on turf and is 12-7-1-0 overall with earnings of $649,292.
Hronis Racing’s Park Avenue, who tried turf for the first time and responded with the best race of her career, a 2 ¾-length score in a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance March 20, shortens up a furlong and rates a huge chance with Juan Hernandez riding back.
Trained by John Sadler and with a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure in-hand, Park Avenue, who was a distant second three starts back on dirt in the Grade 3 La Canada Stakes, is a solid 9-3-3-1 overall . A Kentucky-bred filly by Quality Road out of the Indian Charlie mare Remarkable, she seeks her first stakes win with earnings of $199,900.
D’Amato will also be well represented by upstart Irish-bred Excelerina. Winless in three starts in Ireland, she comes off a pair of sharp wins over the course at 1 1/8 miles, most recently a first condition allowance on March 11 and in her US debut, a maiden special weight win on Feb. 6.
A 4-year-old filly owned by CYBT, Saul Gevertz and Michael Nentwig, Excelerina, who earned an 81 Beyer Speed Figure in her allowance win, is 5-2-1-0 with earnings of $84,713.
Leonard Powell’s 5-year-old French-bred mare Avenue de France, who closed much ground to finish sixth, beaten 3 ½ lengths in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes at one mile on turf March 5, was third, beaten a half-length While finishing well two starts back in the Grade 3 Megahertz at one mile on grass and rates an upset chance in her third consecutive graded stakes try over the course.
“Last time, she was a bit too far back,” Powell said. “She closed, but too late. She had too much to do. I hope this time she’s a bit closer to the lead. I still want her at the back of the field but not as far back as last time.
“She has a good quarter of a mile turn of foot and that’s an asset. She made up about 12 lengths on the field (in the Buena Vista) but she couldn’t make it all.”
Unbeaten in two starts in France at age two, Avenue de France is owned by Convergence Stable, Madaket Stables, LLC, Wonder Stables, et al. With an overall mark of 16-5-0-5, she has earnings of $170,562 and will be seeking her first graded stakes victory.
GRADE II ROYAL HEROINE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS
IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 12 Approximate post time 3 pm PT
- Going Global—Umberto Rispoli—124
- Excelerina—Mike Smith—120
- Javanica—John Velazquez—120
- Park Avenue—Juan Hernandez—120
- Avenue de France—Drayden Van Dyke–120
Special early first post time for Saturday’s Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Day is at 12 noon with admission gates opening at 10 am For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.