ROYAL HEROINE | PURSE: $200,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP | FILLIES AND MARES | GRADE 2 | 1 MILE (TURF)
Parranda wore down pacesetter Kathleen Rose in deep stretch and scored by a neck in Saturday's Grade 2, $201,250 Royal Heroine at Santa Anita. Now a six-time stakes queen, the chestnut mare completed a mile in 1:35 1/5 over the firm turf with jockey Elvis Trujillo.
A daughter of English Channel, Parranda was making her third start for owners Gillian Campbell, Dan Clark, Gatto Racing LLC, Jerry Hollendorfer and Greg Skoda.
Formerly campaigned on the East Coast, Parranda posted wins in the Grade 3 Suwannee River and Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park earlier this season. The five-year-old changed hands prior to her victory in the Grade 3, one-mile Wilshire on April 27 and wound up third when stretching back out to 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 1 Gamely on May 26.
The Hollendorfer trainee relished the cut back in trip Saturday and rewarded her backers with $6.20 win mutuel as the favorite among 10 rivals.
She overcame the far outside post position, flashing some early foot at the break to settle into second entering the first turn behind Kathleen Rose, who completed the opening quarter-mile in :23 3/5. Dutchessa rushed forward shortly after entering the backstretch to put pressure on the pacesetter, with Parranda a length back in a perfect stalking position through four furlongs in :47 3/5.
Kathleen Rose reasserted control on the far turn, completing three-quarters of a mile in 1:11 1/5, but Parranda entered the stretch drive with momentum while three paths wide and began to reel in the front-runner after straightening for home. Parranda was only a head back with a furlong remaining and gradually gained the upper hand late, edging away under the wire.
"Elvis rode a real good race, real smart and helped us to win the race," Hollendorfer said. "We wanted to try and get out of (the gate) and be tactical."
Trujillo, who had won twice previously aboard Parranda on the East Coast, replaced Corey Nakatani in the irons on Saturday.
"Yeah, I'm happy with today," Trujillo said. "I was comfortable that she could finish strong. I knew I had a lot of speed and I was going to move at the five-eighths.
"Desormeaux's horse (Dutchessa) being up there with Kathleen Rose really helped us today. I sat off those two and then moved."
Kathleen Rose, who had her three-race win streak snapped in her graded stakes bow, easily held second as the 4-1 second choice, two lengths better than third-placer Moulin De Mougin. Wishing Gate came next in fourth and was followed by Dancingtothestars, Moone's My Name, Stormy Lucy, Habibi, Redressthebalance and Dutchessa.
"She ran awesome, she's doing really well," jockey Edwin Maldonado said of the runner-up. "We got chased a little bit by a horse that didn't have any shot in the race (Dutchessa), otherwise I think I would have been there on the wire. I thought I would be alone on the lead."
Parranda won her career debut in February 2012 but after recording unplaced finishes in her next five starts that season, she opened last year with a couple of appearances versus $50,000 claiming rivals. The Florida-bred then steadily progressed through the allowance ranks before making her first graded stakes outing with a fifth in the Grade 3 Matchmaker in late July.
She followed that effort with a runner-up in the Omnibus at Monmouth Park and then posted wins in the Our Dear Peg and Millions Filly &Mare Turf Preview at Gulfstream before completing 2013 with a fourth in the Grade 3 My Charmer at Calder.
Parranda rebounded from that setback in the aforementioned Sunshine Millions Filly & Turf Mare Turf and earned her first graded tally with a two-length, wire-to-wire score in the Suwanee River on February 8. She recorded a sixth in the Grade 2 Honey Fox on March 15 before being sold to new connections.
With Saturday's $120,000 payday, Parranda has now earned $668,655 from a 24-10-2-3 ledger.
Bred by Kinsman Farm, Parranda sold for $13,000 as a two-year-old in training at OBS April. She is the first registered foal from the winning Rahy mare Dynamic Feature, who is herself a half-sister to recently named Canadian champion older female Sisterly Love. Parranda's second dam, Odylic, is a full sister to Grade 1-winning sire Dixie Brass.