A compact field of six fillies and mares will go 1 1/4 miles on the Santa Anita lawn in Saturday’s $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1). The grassy affair acts as a “Win & You’re In” to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) here on November 2, with the winner gaining an automatic berth into the event.
Mirth (#1) (6-1) is total lone speed in the field and her foes will have to catch her in order to pull out the victory. Beau Recall (#2) (9-5) exits some swift races at middle distances, and she will track in the second flight with Excellent Sunset (#5) (7-2). The trio of one-run closers will be unhurried early on.
$30 Exacta 2 with 1 = $30
$20 Exacta 2 with 6 = $20
Here is the group:
MIRTH (#1) (6-1) – Phil D’Amato trainee is the controlling speed of the race and rates as a dangerous customer from the rail. Colonel John filly makes the move to pick up pilot Mike Smith, and the race goes through the Keystone State-bred.
BEAU RECALL (#2) (9-5) – Five-year-old has reached new heights since moving to the barn of conditioner Brad Cox with six straight top-two stakes performances. Sir Prancealot mare was a closing fourth in the race in 2018, but she faces an easier cast today while in career form. The one to beat will have Drayden Van Dyke in the silks.
ELYSEA’S WORLD (#3) (6-1) – Multiple graded queen was a Grade 3 heroine on this course and at the distance in March for Richard Baltas. Champs Elysees mare fired a bullet five panels leading up to this affair and will be running from off the pace beneath turf ace Flavien Prat.
SIBERIAN IRIS (#4) (6-1) – Stone closer got up to defeat stakes foes at Del Mar in advance of today. Richard Mandella pupil is consistent but needs a step forward to be the winner from well off the early tempo. Rafael Bejarano has the ride.
EXCELLENT SUNSET (#5) (7-2) – Five-year-old by Exceed and Excel finished a rallying second in the Robert Frankel Stakes (G3) in her 2018 finale. Win contender had a sharp prep when a close second going one mile in a turf allowance at Del Mar, and the mare could be the one with improvement second off the shelf. Abel Cedillo will be in the stirrups.
PAVED (#6) (5-2) – Mike McCarthy trainee is winless since June of 2018, but she does some of her best work at Santa Anita and must be respected. Grade 2 vixen finished well when fourth in the John Mabee Stakes (G2) at Del Mar last out, and the Quality Road filly could peak in her third start off the layoff. Victor Espinoza retains the mount.
PHOTO: Beau Recall (right) © BENOIT PHOTO