BIG CAP TOPS BIG SATURDAY AT SANTA ANITA
Saturday is a big day at Santa Anita, with a trio of Grade 1 races on tap, led by the 75th running of the $750,000 Santa Anita H. (G1). This prestigious race will bring out the best in the west this weekend, with a top field signed on. Multiple Grade 1 hero Game on Dude had a nice prep for this when dominating the San Antonion S. (G2) on this oval and looms as the favorite if he goes here. Trained by Bob Baffert, the gelded son of Awesome Again is also possible for the Dubai World Cup (G1), but is proven on this oval and would be tough to upend over arguably his favorite oval. Chantal Sutherland will stay atop the Kentucky-bred.
Grade 1 victor Ultimate Eagle proved that he can handle the dirt, as well, when crushing his foes in the Strub S. (G2) last out. The talented Michael Pender trainee has big early speed and looms as the one to catch in this spot. Setsuko just missed in a controversial finish in this race a year ago, and would be no surprise at this 10-furlong trip for the classy Richard Mandella.
East Coast invader Ron the Greek is in very good form for trainer bill Mott and could appreciate the extended trip in this test. Super Derby (G2) star Prayer for Relief, the streaking Holladay Road and turf performer Boxeur des Rues, all get a look in this lucrative event.
The $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) will pit the top grass performers in the west together, led by the highly talented Mr. Commons from the barn of John Shirreffs. The budding superstar by Artie Schiller has taken his last two starts in impressive fashion, and sports a solid 6-4-1-1 mark on this lawn. The four-year-old has to be beaten in this spot with Mike Smith in the irons.
Arcadia S. (G2) runner-up Willyconker, dual Grade 1 winner The Usual Q T, Group 1 hero Pressday, San Gabriel S. (G2) star Norvsky, multiple stakes winning veteran Jimmy Simms and Grade 2 star Compari, who is a sparkling 6-for-8 on this turf, are among the top runners headed for this race.
The $250,000 Las Virgenes S. (G1) for three-year-old fillies will likely be the next stop for the ultra impressive Princess Arabella, who has dusted two fields leading up to this. The Bob Baffert trained daughter of Any Given Saturday has the makings of a star, and will get an acid test against this field.
Santa Ysabel S. (G2) upsetter Willa B Awesome, Santa Ynez S. (G2) romper Reneesgotzip, Grade 1 queen Killer Graces, two-time Grade 1-placed Charm the Maker and 11-length maiden winner Eden’s Moon, also deserve a lot of attention in this affair.