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Ria Antonia meets Streaming in Rachel Alexandra
Ria Antonia, elevated to first in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, will make her three-year-old debut at Fair Grounds Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra, a 1 1/16-mile prep for next month's Fair Grounds Oaks.
Making her first start with blinkers in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, Ria Antonia outran expectations when dueling with She's a Tiger for the win in the final sixteenth. Though she wound up missing by a nose in a photo, a majority of the stewards felt there was sufficient illegal contact from She's a Tiger in the final yards to warrant her disqualification.
Ria Antonia got the glory of victory, her first in a stakes after unplaced finishes in the Frizette at Belmont Park and the Swynford at Woodbine, though She's a Tiger's campaign was more accomplished and resulted in her receiving the Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old filly.
Likely to be favored over the Breeders' Cup winner is Streaming, who is looking to make amends for an upset defeat in the February 1 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita. The Bob Baffert trainee, who was the even-money favorite, failed by a half-length to catch the front-running Fashion Plate in that one-mile test.
Streaming earned her Las Virgenes fanbase as a result of her 1 1/2-length score in the Hollywood Starlet in December, which occurred three weeks after her debut victory over the same track going six furlongs.
Untapable, third to Streaming in the Hollywood Starlet, was far more effective on dirt when taking the Pocahontas at Churchill Downs in September. From there she contested the Breeders' Cup, but was virtually eliminated around the far turn when checked out of the race to avoid a fallen rival.
Got Lucky, second in the Demoiselle at Aqueduct as a maiden in November, graduated last time in the slop at Gulfstream over a one-turn mile, and figures to progress more for trainer Todd Pletcher.
The locally-based talent with experience over the track includes Express Model and Army, third and fourth, respectively, in the $120,000 Silverbulletday last time, and Shanon Nicole, who beat allowance foes by more than four lengths last time in her first ever race on dirt.