Donald R. Dizney homebred Princess Bettina will try to regain her winning form on Sunday and pull off an upset victory in the Grade 2 Santa Maria at Santa Anita Park. The Peter Eurton-trained daughter of Will Take Charge is 20-1 on the morning line of the mile-and-one-sixteenth contest which has attracted a field of eight fillies and mares, 4-years-old and older.

Princess Bettina’s last victory came going a mile over the Santa Anita turf in March of last year when she took the $100,000 China Doll by four-and-a-half lengths when racing from the Eurton barn.

Following the China Doll, Princess Bettina was transferred to Todd Pletcher for the $150,000 Penn Oaks at Penn National in June where she finished third behind winner Malleymoo, also at a mile on the turf. She finished off the board next out in the Grade 3 Lake George at Saratoga over a yielding turf in July before being returned to Eurton in Southern California.

In three starts since, her best effort came two starts back when second to Stay and Scam in a second condition, $80,000 optional claiming at six-and-a-half furlongs on turf at Santa Anita on Feb. 10.

Out of Aiden’s Girl, by First Dude, Princess Bettina has two wins, a second and four thirds in 12 starts with earnings of $165,590.

She will break from post two in the Santa Maria and Edwin Maldonado has the mount.

Starting from Princess Bettina’s immediate right in post three is the 9-5 morning line favorite, Desert Dawn for trainer Philip D’Amato.

Desert Dawn should relish the distance having won the Grade 3 La Canada at a mile-and-a-sixteenth two starts back at Santa Anita on Jan. 20. In one start since, the 5-year-old daughter of Cupid was fourth, beaten seven lengths by winner Sweet Azteca in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile at Santa Anita on March 9.

Desert Dawn is looking for millionaire status in the Santa Maria with career earnings of $974,525. Her lifetime record reflects three wins, five seconds and five thirds in 20 starts.

Anotonio Fresu will ride Desert Dawn.

Desert Dawn is one of three entered by D’Amato along with Super Shine (Arg) and Turnerloose.

Super Shine makes her first start in the United States after coming from Argentina where she won the Grade 2 Arturo R. y Arturo Bull Rich going a mile-and-a-quarter at Hipodromo de Palermo in Buenos Aires on March 4 two races ago.

Turnerloose was fourth in the Grade 3 Wilshire won by Nadette on April 4 in her last start.

Frankie Dettori will ride Super Shine from post five while Kazushi Kimura will be aboard Turnerloose in post six.

Completing the Santa Maria entries are Big Novel with Juan Hernandez named to ride, Big Dream Machine and jockey Abner Adorno, Coffee in Bed with Mike Smith up and Umberto Rispoli rides Liberal Lady.

Return to the April 20 issue of Wire to Wire