Saturday marks the 42nd running of the Monrovia Handicap, a Grade 3 event for fillies and mares 4 years old and up. The Monrovia is run on Santa Anita's unique downhill turf course, the El Camino Real Turf Course, at about six and a half furlongs.
The race is named in honor of Santa Anita's neighboring city of Monrovia. Railroad pioneer W.N. Monroe (1841-1935) came to California from the Midwest in 1875 and purchased part of Lucky Baldwin's Rancho Santa Anita for his home. Baldwin had subdivided the eastern portion of his vast rancho into 30-acre parcels. In 1886, Monroe and four of his friends, who had also bought parcels of Baldwin's rancho, established the town of Monrovia on their combined property, laying out a 60-acre town with streets named for trees, flowers and ladies.
Society Hostess will make her third Monrovia Handicap start Saturday. She won the race in 2007 and finished second in last year's running. Trained by Cristophe Clemente (assistant trainer Nicholas Bachalard) for Moyglare Stud, Society Hostess finished sixth in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar in her last race. Jose Valdivia Jr. has the mount.