DREAM TREE, ESCAPE CLAUSE, MARLEY’S FREEDOM & PARADISE WOODS HEADLINE STAR-STUDDED GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA MONICA STAKES ON SATURDAY ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2019)–In what shapes up as a truly star-studded affair, Dream Tree, Escape Clause, Marley’s Freedom and Paradise Woods headline a field of seven older fillies and mares in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes at seven furlongs.Although she flopped as the 3-5 favorite in the opening day Grade I La Brea at the same distance, Bob Baffert’s previously undefeated Dream Tree merits top billing as she’s joined by stablemate Marley’s Freedom, who’s been idle since winning a Grade III, one turn mile stakes at Aqueduct Dec. 1.Quite possibly the hardest trying Thoroughbred in training, owner/trainer Don Schnell’s Manitoba Canadian-bred Escape Clause, fresh off a romping victory going 1 1/16 miles in the Grade III La Canada Stakes here Jan. 12, will cut back in distance as she bids for her 20th win from 29 career starts.Paradise Woods, brilliant at three but winless in her last five starts, has been idle since July and will be making her first start for trainer John Shirreffs.Throw in last year’s Santa Monica winner, Selcourt, and this year’s renewal indeed has the look of something very special.DREAM TREEOwner: Phoenix Thoroughbred III TTrainer: Bob BaffertUnbeaten in her first five starts, three of them graded, including the Grade I Starlet at Los Alamitos in December, 2017, this 4-year-old Uncle Mo filly was simply off of her game in the Grade I La Brea, a race in which she broke a bit slow, was attentive to the pace for a half mile and caved readily to finish last by 25 ½ lengths. With five works to her credit since the La Brea, including a bullet six furlongs in 1:11.60 this past Sunday, look for Dream Tree to bounce back with an “A” performance with Mike Smith up.ESCAPE CLAUSEOwner: Don SchnellTrainer: Don SchnellOne of the best “feel good” stories in American Racing, she comes off a dominating 5 ½ length win in the Grade II La Canada and cuts back to a distance at which she’s a perfect two for two. A winner of eight in a row last year, starting in Winnipeg, Manitoba on June 8 through Oct. 21 at Centennial Downs, near Calgary, Alberta, this Manitoba-bred has performed with unquestioned distinction in four Southern California starts, which have produced two wins, the first via disqualification in the restricted Kathryn Crosby Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 9 and in the La Canada here at Santa Anita. Returned by Schnell to her base at Turf Paradise in Phoenix following the La Canada win, she’s had two recorded works heading into the Santa Monica, her most recent a half mile in 47 flat, second fastest of 46, on Feb. 9. A 5-year-old Manitoba-bred by the Unbridled’s Song stallion Going Commando, Escape Clause is 28-19-3-3 overall with earnings of $423,500.MARLEY’S FREEDOMCicero Farms, LLCTrainer: Bob BaffertA neck winner of the Grade III Go For Wand Handicap going a one turn mile at Aqueduct Dec. 1, this 5-year-old Blame mare was off as the 3-5 favorite and has been favored in her last six starts, winning five of them. With Mike Smith apparently opting to ride Dream Tree, Drayden Van Dyke, who has won with three out of his four tries with her, gets the Santa Monica call. An easy 3 ¼ length winner of the Grade I, seven furlong Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga three starts back on Aug. 25, Marley’s freedom is a four-time graded stakes winner and is the leading money earner in the field with $815,935.PARADISE WOODSOwner: Pam & Martin Wygod & Steven SarkowskyTrainer: John ShirreffsA winner of both the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks and the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes at age three, this 5-year-old mare by Union Rags has been idle since well beaten going 1 1/16 miles on turf in the restricted Osunitas Stakes at Del Mar on July 20–her fifth consecutive defeat since taking the Zenyatta in September, 2017. A big question mark by any reckoning, she banked $773,890 with Richard Mandella, but will be making her first start for John Shirreffs, who’s been pleased with the way she’s trained up to the Santa Monica. With an overall mark of 11-3-2-2 and three consecutive six furlong drills to her credit, including a bullet 1:10.80 drill here on Feb. 8, Paradise Woods appears ready as she’ll be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario.SELCOURTOwner: Medallion Racing & Keith AbrahamsTrainer: John SadlerA galloping 4 ½ length winner of last year’s Santa Monica, this lightly raced 5-year-old Tiz Wonderful mare was then idle prior to running 12th in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. With her next assignment coming as the 1-5 favorite in the ungraded Kalookan Queen Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs here on Jan. 13, she bobbled at the break, dueled for the lead and ended up second, beaten 2 ¼ lengths under regular rider Tyler Baze. With Baze opting to stick with Escape Clause, Selcourt will be handled for the first time by Joe Talamo on Saturday. Bred in Kentucky by Abrahams, Selcourt is 8-4-2-1 and has earnings of $299,160.THE GRADE II SANTA MONICA WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 9 of 10 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT Paradise Woods–Joel Rosario–120Selcourt–Joe Talamo–120Marley’s Freedom–Drayden Van Dyke–124Dream Tree–Mike Smith–124Mopotism–Mario Gutierrez–120Escape Clause–Tyler Baze–122Amuse–Rafael Bejarano–120First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
REVEALED The relationship between the pair appeared to hit rock bottom when, after leaving United’s pre-season tour to be with his pregnant wife, Martial was fined by the Red Devils boss.However, their moments of compassion at Stamford Bridge had many United fans simply delirious – with some even in tears.Check out the best reaction from fans on Twitter below! Martial’s sweet strike put United ahead Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Latest Premier League News After grabbing what appeared to be a winning goal in front of the Manchester United fans, Mourinho was obviously elated with his forward.And then, after tremendous running and lots of hard work, the former Chelsea boss visibly pumped his fists and went onto the pitch to pat Martial on the back to congratulate him for his diligence.Shortly afterwards, the Portuguese then had a huge cuddle with the 22-year-old as he was substituted with a beaming smile.The duo have endured a somewhat rocky relationship in the past, with Mourinho openly criticising the France international for his poor performances. Mourinho watches on as United were pegged back late on against Chelsea 2 2 Jose Mourinho just ran on the pitch to pat Martial on the back for his defensive work. I never thought I would see the day. Tears in my eyes.— Devils of United (@DevilsOfUnited) October 20, 2018 tense Anthony Martial enjoyed a memorable afternoon at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon as his two goals helped Manchester United claim a 2-2 draw against Chelsea.Ross Barkley’s late equaliser sparked furious scenes in the away dugout as a member of the Blues’ backroom staff appeared to goad Mourinho, forcing a furious reaction from the Portuguese.However, it was his various interactions with Martial during the game which pleased several United fans. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Mourinho on pitch patting Martial. Both FCs shook!— ace ace (@CurryMerchant) October 20, 2018 Mourinho just embraced Martial has he came off, shouting ‘Yes’ into his ear. Not quite sweet nothings – but this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship #mufc— James Robson (@jamesrobsonES) October 20, 2018 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card REVEALED huge blow Martial and Mourinho laughing and hugging I love this game— ً (@SimplyChong) October 20, 2018 Mourinho coming into the pitch to slap Martial’s back and praise him. Tears flowing from my eyes.— Jordan Clarke (@FourFourJordan) October 20, 2018 Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Jose Mourinho and Anthony Martial embrace on the touchline. LOVE THAT! The smile is back! #mufc pic.twitter.com/0jg4GXXDzC— United Xtra (@utdxtra) October 20, 2018 shining Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT LMAO.. MOURINHO HUGGED MARTIAL… SOMEBODY PLEASE WAKE ME UP pic.twitter.com/SKGGs8f3BG— Mrs Martial 💋 (@missp000) October 20, 2018 no dice Jose Mourinho applauds Anthony Martial and pats him on the back for closing down. The players are playing for the badge and the manager! 💯 #mufc pic.twitter.com/upuy4ciDAb— United Xtra (@utdxtra) October 20, 2018 gameday cracker Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won