Citronnade cruises in the Dahlia

Times Staff Writer

For the second day in a row, a Bobby Frankel-trained filly had an impressive showing at Hollywood Park.

On Saturday, it was 2-year-old Country Star in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet.

On Sunday, it was 4-year-old Citronnade in the Grade II $150,000 Dahlia Handicap.

Citronnade, ridden by David Flores, went wire to wire and outclassed the field to give Frankel a record seventh Dahlia winner. An anticipated match between Citronnade and Nashoba’s Key in the Dahlia failed to materialize when trainer Carla Gaines scratched her 4-year-old filly. Nashoba’s Key won for the seventh time in seven races when she won the Yellow Ribbon at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita, and Citronnade finished second in that race.

At some point, it seems that Nashoba’s Key and Citronnade are going to have to get together again.


After Sunday’s race, Gaines said she still is not sure what’s next for Nashoba’s Key. It might be the San Gorgonio at Santa Anita on Jan. 6. Or she might save Nashoba’s Key for the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 26.

She said she scratched Nashoba’s Key from the Dahlia because the filly had missed a workout and some training because of recent rain and the closure of the main track at Santa Anita.

Nashoba’s Key is now stabled at Hollywood Park.

Without Nashoba’s Key to contend with, Citronnade dominated the Dahlia.

“It was like a walk in the park,” Flores said. “I could see in the paper that nobody had her kind of speed. The pace was very comfortable and when it was time to go at the quarter pole, I chirped to her a couple of times and it was all over.”

Black Mamba, a 4-year-old New Zealand-bred, finished second but was no threat to Citronnade, who covered the 1 1/16 miles on the turf course in 1:41.49 in winning for the fifth time in seven races this year. Citronnade is nine for 14 overall.

What’s next for Citronnade is also not known. Frankel was not at the track Sunday, and assistant trainer Humberto Asciano said, “Bobby will have to decide that.”


Blues Girl Too, a 7-1 shot, became the richest female in quarter horse history with a record-setting victory in the $1-million Champion Of Champions late Saturday night at Los Alamitos.


In what might be the final start of her career, the 3-year-old Corona Cartel filly won the Grade I by 1 1/4 lengths over Little Bit Of Baja, covering the 440 yards in 21.132. The final time eclipsed the track record of 21.17 set by Dash For Cash when he won the first of his two Champion Of Champions on Dec. 19, 1976.

The $500,000 winner’s share of the purse pushed Blues Girl Too’s career bankroll to $2,032,328, enabling her to surpass Dashingly as the richest female. She is $93,981 shy of equaling the all-time earnings record of $2,126,309 held by Refrigerator, who won the Champion Of Champions three times.

Owned by Russell and Lisa Stooks’ Lucky Seven Ranch and trained by Joe Bassett, Blues Girl Too was ridden by Saul Ramirez, who won the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity the night before with One Famous Eagle.

Fdd Dynasty, the 5-2 favorite in the Champion Of Champions, finished third. The field was reduced to nine starters after a minor leg injury forced No Secrets Here to be scratched.

Times staff writer Bob Mieszerski contributed to this report.