Santa Anita: How to bet the 2023 China Doll Stakes

March 17th, 2023

A field of seven three-year-old fillies will vie in the $100,000 China Doll S. at Santa Anita on Saturday. The one-mile turf affair features a trio of contenders who are exiting a run in the Lady of Shamrock S. on the surface in February, and I believe that the race will go through two of those ladies.

The Peter Eurton-trained #6 Princess Bettina (5-1) endured some traffic when finishing third, beaten by a length, last time out, and I will tab her to pick up her initial stakes trophy against this group. Florida-bred chestnut didn’t show a whole lot in her first pair of career starts but took a major step forward when moving to the lawn in her third encounter. The daughter of Will Take Charge closed 2022 with a close third-place allowance run on the Del Mar green, and she commenced her sophomore campaign with an even fourth in a turf dash going down the hill.

Princess Bettina shows a pair of solid half-mile morning drills in advance of this assignment and gets a rider change to Frankie Dettori, which is always a good thing. The late runner will benefit if the pace is a bit swifter than expected, too.

#3 The Wild Grazer (5-2) missed by a neck in the Lady of Shamrock and adds blinkers for this run for conditioner Jeff Mullins. By Gustav Klimt, the three-year-old bay handled the one-mile trip with ease most recently in her first route try and will need only slight improvement to get the job done on Saturday. Irish-bred filly could potentially sit a bit closer to the early pace and get first run on the deeper closing types with Juan Hernandez retaining the mount.

#7 Comanche Country (8-5), one of two in the affair for trainer Phil D’Amato, endured a very good juvenile season in the U.S. when annexing a pair of stakes races, prior to capping her 2022 with a seventh-place result in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Keeneland. Highland Reel bay bagged the Surfer Girl S. (G3) in her lone prior try on the Santa Anita lawn, and she will be formidable if she’s ready to fire her best shot off the bench. Regular pilot Umberto Rispoli will be in the silks aboard the stalker.

China Doll Wagers

  • $10 win and place #6 Princess Bettina ($20)
  • $5 exacta key box 6 with 3,7 ($20)
  • $2 superfecta 3,6 with 3,6 with 7 with all ($16)