La Force Circles Field To Upset Paradise Woods In Santa Maria – Horse Racing News

German-bred La Force and jockey Drayden Van Dyke, right, hold off heavily favored Paradies Woods and Mike Smith to win the Grade II $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.© BENOIT PHOTO

German-bred La Force sprung a major surprise on Saturday at Santa Anita, as she rallied from last to upset heavily favored Paradise Woods by 1 ¼ lengths in the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes under Drayden Van Dyke. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, La Force, a 5-year-old mare, got 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.91.

With Paradise Woods taking a stutter-step at the break, the complexion of the race changed significantly, but although the fractions were modest, La Force was still able to mount an impressive…