OLDSMAR, Fla. — Dona Bruja will have a new rider in Eclipse champion Jose Ortiz when she faces La Coronel and Ultra Brat in a terrific lineup of eight older fillies and mares in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Endeavour Stakes on Saturday.
“I don’t know if Jose can ride her all year, but we’re glad to have him for this,” said trainer Ignacio Correas.
Dona Bruja emerged as a major player in the filly-mare turf division last year in winning the Mint Julep and Modesty before having difficult trips to end her season in back-to-back Grade 1 races, the Beverly D. and First Lady.
“Hopefully our luck will be better this year,” said Correas.
La Coronel, a three-time graded winner last year at 3, will be facing older females for the first time.
* Apprentice rider Jose Bracho got the attention of horsemen and fans Sunday by winning with three straight mounts in races 2, 4, and 5. Bracho, 20, is a native of Venezuela who entered this week of action with 10 wins at the meet, which began Nov. 25.
* The only allowance on a nine-race Friday card comes early when six older horses will go seven furlongs for a $23,500 purse in race 2. First post is 12:44 p.m. Eastern.