Venetian Harbor (Munnings) Wins Gr.2 Monrovia Stakes at Santa Anita

Venetian Harbor Returns a Winner in Monrovia

Multiple Grade II winner Venetian Harbor’s (4f Munnings x Sounds of the City, by Street Cry) highly anticipated debut went exactly how hoped on Saturday when she romped in the Grade II Monrovia Stakes to lead home a Munnings exacta.

Racing over 6 ½ furlongs on the Santa Anita turf, Venetian Harbor broke strongly and immediately took command. Jockey Mario Gutierrez let her set her own pace and she started pulling away with more than a quarter mile to go.

Munnings’ Constantia closed strongly from the back of the field but there was no catching Venetian Harbor, who won by an easy 3 ½ lengths.

“I knew she carried the speed, that was never the question,” Gutierrez said. “I just let her break and right away try to not ask her too much, she did the rest. She put herself in the race, after that it was just wait for the time to kick home and she got the job done.”

It was the fourth win in nine starts for Venetian Harbor, who has only finished worse than second once in her career and has over $630,000 in earnings as a Grade II winner on both dirt and turf.

Trained by Richard Baltas for Ciaglia Racing, Highland Yard, River Oak Farm, and Domenic Savides, the filly was bred by Colt’s Neck Stable.

She is one of two winners from multiple stakes-placed mare Sounds of the City, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Pool Winner and to the dam of stakes winner Just Read It. Sounds of the City’s third dam is the great racemare Safely Kept, who won two Grade Is including the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Munnings’ 10 stakes winners in 2021 is third best among all Northern Hemisphere sires with his 19 stakes performers this year sixth best. In high demand, Munnings was booked full for 2021.