Ellafitz wins stakes at Santa Anita


ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) -- Ellafitz led all the way in winning the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares by 1 1-4 lengths on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Ellafitz ran 1 1-16 miles in 1:42.48 and paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10 as the 4-5 favorite while winning her third consecutive stakes race. It was the third win on the card for the rider-trainer duo of Garcia and Bob Baffert.

"She had to earn it," Baffert said. "Everybody took her on and the way she fought back was pretty gallant. In order to beat her, they tried to do that, but that's part of horse racing. You've just got to deal with it when you have a front-runner."

Miss Mittagong and defending champion Vision in Gold dead-heated for second. Miss Mittagong returned $4 and $4.60, while Vision in Gold paid $2.40 and $3.

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Ellafitz's career earnings to $397,957, with six wins in 14 starts.