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NZ Mare Black Mamba Wins US Gr1 Mabee
Also in the US, former NZ Windsor Park shuttler Black Minnaloushe (Storm Cat-Coral Dance, by Green Dancer) added a Gr1 triumph when ultra-consistent NZ-bred 5YO mare Black Mamba (Black Minnaloushe-Sneetch, by Grosvenor) "closed gamely to seize command in the stretch & held off her fast-finishing rivals" to score a half-length victory in the US$400,000 Gr1 John Mabee Handicap (9 furlongs on turf) for fillies & mares at Del Mar in California. Top-weighted favourite Black Mamba (ridden by Garrett Gomez for trainer John Sadler) defeated fellow 5YO mare I Can See (Flying Chevron-Precocious Queen, by Bold Ruckus) & UK-bred 4YO mare Passified (Compton Place-Passiflora, by Night Shift). At her previous start, Black Mamba won June's Gr2 Beverly Hills Handicap (10 furlongs on turf) at Hollywood Park, after 7 successive stakes-placings. Overall Black Mamba (bred in NZ by Hawkes Bay businessman Sam Kelt's Keltern Stud) now has 4 wins from 20 starts for US$599,171 earnings; she last raced in NZ when 5th in the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) in March 2007. Subsequently since winning her US debut over 1600m at Del Mar in California in August 2007, Black Mamba (a NZ$120,000 yearling consigned by Trelawney Stud at the 2005 NZB Premier Sale at Karaka) finished 2007 with: 2nd in the Gr2 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (8.5 furlongs on turf) at Del Mar; 3rd in the Gr1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (10 furlongs on turf) at Santa Anita; 2nd in the Gr2 Las Palmas Handicap (8 furlongs on turf) at Santa Anita); & 2nd again in the Gr2 Dahlia Handicap (8.5 furlongs on turf) at Hollywood Park. This year she followed-on with a runner-up in February's Gr2 Buena Vista Handicap (8 furlongs on turf) at Santa Anita, then 3rd in March's Listed American Beauty Handicap (8 furlongs on turf at Santa Anita) & 2nd in April's Gr2 Santa Barbara Handicap (10 furlongs on turf) at Santa Anita.