DEFENDING CHAMP BELVOIR BAY & STABLEMATE PAINTING CORNERS LOOM LARGE IN SUNDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 MONROVIA STAKES AT FIVE FURLONGS ON TURF D’AMATO’S S Y SKY, FRESH OFF FIVE FURLONG SCORE AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS, HAS BIG LOOK ARCADIA, Calif. (May 23, 2019)–English-bred Belvoir Bay and stablemate Painting Corners both figure prominently in one of the Memorial Day Weekend’s best betting races, Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes, at five furlongs over the Santa Anita turf. The Monrovia, carded as the seventh race on a nine-race program, has attracted a deep and competitive field of 10 fillies and mares three and up, with one horse on the also eligible list.Trainer Phil D’Amato’s California-bred S Y Sky, a Nick Alexander homebred, also rates a big look in the large field, as she comes off what might have been her biggest win in the five furlong turf Camilla Urso Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.BELVOIR BAYOwner: Gary BarberTrainer: Peter MillerSheer class at age six, Belvoir Bay is the defending champion in the Monrovia and is by far the leading money earner in the field with $1,085,787. Most recently second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in a $2 million Group I sprint going six furlongs on turf in Dubai March 30, she was an emphatic 4 ¾ length winner of the ungraded Wishing Well Stakes going five furlongs on turf two starts back here on Feb. 16 and is 7-3-3-0 at five eighths of mile on grass. With an overall mark of 25-11-5-2 and Flavien Prat back aboard, Belvoir Bay rates top billing.PAINTING CORNERSOwner: Altimira Racing Stable & Slam Dunk RacingTrainer: Peter MillerMost recently a front-running 1 ½ length winner of the ungraded Mizdirection Stakes going five furlongs on turf April 13, this 5-year-old Florida-bred mare by the Smart Strike stallion Pleasant Strike, has three wins from seven tries at five furlongs on grass as she seeks her first graded stakes victory with leading man Joe Talamo back aboard. Based at San Luis Rey Downs with her far more accomplished stablemate, Painting Corners, who has an overall mark of 18-6-2-4, figures to blast off and hope to hold off all comers on Sunday.S Y SKYOwner: Nick AlexanderTrainer: Phil D’AmatoThe lone California-bred in the lineup, this 5-year-old Grazen mare was brilliant in her five furlong turf debut on April 27 at Golden Gate as she rallied to take the Camilla Urso by 3 ½ lengths at odds of 3-5. Sidelined due to a tendon issue mid-way through her 2-year-old campaign, S Y Sky, who is out of Alexander’s Sky Mesa mare Sky Marni, has a remarkable overall mark of 12-6-5-1 and earnings of $542,320. She’s no doubt stepping way up in class in what will be her first graded stakes assignment and with Prat sticking with Belvoir Bay, S Y Sky will be ridden for the first time by Drayden Van Dyke.THE GRADE II MONROVIA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PTPoster Girl–Evin Roman–121S Y Sky–Drayden Van Dyke–121Rocky Policy–Ruben Fuentes–121Painting Corners–Joe Talamo–121Ginger Nut–Rafael Bejarano–121A Little Bit Me–Geovanni Franco–121Flammetta–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–121Belvoir Bay–Flavien Prat–121Gliding By–Mario Gutierrez–121Lady Suebee–Victor Espinoza–121ALSO ELIGIBLESpectator–Martin Garcia–121First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday, that will also include the Grade II Summertime Oaks, is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
A broad rally in Toronto allowed Canada’s main stock index to close the quarter with a triple-digit gain Thursday as U.S. markets also posted strong results.Strong performances from the four main North American indexes came despite no clear triggers for the gains, said Kash Pashootan, CEO and chief investment officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc.“What’s interesting is there’s no real catalysts to the market going up today, compared to the pessimism and concerns that have led to the enhanced levels of turbulence in the last few weeks.”He said some of the gains could potentially be attributed to the end of quarter practice of dumping underperforming stocks and buying rising stocks to improve portfolio appearances at quarter end ahead of the Easter holiday weekend.“A pessimist may look at this market and say the rise today is rooted in window dressing from portfolio managers given the quarter is ending, given that really the news and the sentiment has not changed in any significant way.”The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 197.35 points at 15,367.29, led by rebounding energy and materials stocks. The late-week gains still left the index down 0.21 per cent for the week and down 5.2 per cent so far this year.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 254.69 points at 24,103.11. The S&P 500 index ended up 35.87 points at 2,640.87 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 114.22 points at 7,063.45 as technology stocks saw broad gains.The markets can expect continued wide swings as the sources of volatility, including trade war uncertainty and heightened valuations, are still present, said Pashootan.The Canadian dollar closed at 77.56, up 0.05 cents US even as the Canadian economy posted lower-than-expected January GDP numbers.Statistics Canada said the economy contracted 0.1 per cent in January, compared to the 0.1 per cent gains expected according to Thomson Reuters, on unscheduled maintenance shutdowns in the oilpatch and weakness in the real estate sector following mortgage rule changes.The dip didn’t move the loonie lower because it’s already seen downward pressure lately, said Pashootan.“The fact is it’s one report, and so the market is not reacting to the lower GDP number that we saw, partly because the loonie has been under quite a bit of pressure.”“We were starting from a much more realistic point than when the Canadian dollar was over 80 cents, being its 30-year average. And the other part of it too is we’re seeing some strength with oil prices.”The May crude contract closed up 56 cents at US$64.94 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was up three cents at US$2.73 per mmBTU.The June gold contract ended down US$2.70 at US$1,327.30 an ounce and the May copper contract was up two cents at US$3.02 a pound.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated S&P 500 closing figure as 2,650.87