Cambodia Looks to Turn Tables in Rodeo Drive

The Rodeo Drive (G1) is one of four Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races on tap at Santa Anita on Saturday. (photo credit:

A field of eight fillies and mares line up Saturday at Santa Anita in the $300,000 Rodeo Drive (G1) led by Cambodia, who seeks to turn the tables on Vasilika, who came out on top when they met in the John C. Mabee (G2) at Del Mar on Sept. 1.

The winner of the Rodeo Drive earns a fee-expenses paid trip to Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) on Nov. 3.

The race is one of four Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races on tap on Saturday including the $300,000 Awesome Again (G1) which features a showdown between Accelerate and West Coast.

Vasilika is the 8-5 morning line favorite for the Rodeo Drive. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has won six races in a row including her first graded stakes win in the Mabee in her last outing. Hollendorfer claimed the filly for $40,000 in February.

Cambodia was the beaten favorite at 4-5 in the Mabee. The six-year-old mare made a good late run and came up 1 ½ lengths short of the top spot. The Tom Proctor trainee ran third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) last fall at Del Mar.

Six will line up in the Awesome Again, with Accelerate the 3-5 morning line favorite. The John Sadler trainee won the Pacific Classic (G1) by 12 ½ lengths in his last outing.

The Bob Baffert trained West Coast (7-5) is making his first start since running second in the Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 31.

The $300,000 Chandelier (G1) drew a field of six two-year-old fillies with the winner earning a starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Del Mar Debutante (G1) winner Bellafina is the 9-5 morning line favorite.

The Grade 1 action starts with the $300,000 American Pharoah which drew a field of five two-year-olds. The race is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). The Baffert trained Game Winner is the 6-5 morning line favorite. The colt is perfect in two starts, winning the Del Mar Futurity (G1) in his most recent outing on Sept. 3.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes all of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge races including three from Belmont Park.

Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Saturday’s featured race of the day:


Santa Anita Race 10 The Rodeo Drive G1 (Post time 4:41 PT)

#8 Cambodia   9-5

#7 Sophie P   8-1

#6 Vasilika   7-2

#1 Paved    8-1

Analysis: Cambodia raced near the back of the pack early and mounted a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out in the John C. Mabee (G2), coming up 1 1/2 lengths short as the beaten favorite. She won the Yellow Ribbon ‘Cap (G2) two back off a two-month break, and this will be her first test at 1 1/4 miles. She won the Mabee last year and ran a good third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) which is run at Del Mar at nine furlongs. She has the pedigree to handle the distance and should get some pace to run at here.

Sophie P exits the Mabee where she got a ground saving trip but didn’t have enough punch left late in a fifth-place finish, beaten four lengths. Two back she made a mild late run to finish third in the Yellow Ribbon, beaten 2 1/2 lengths by our top pick. She picked up a Grade 1 win over the turf here this spring winning the Gamely at 14-1 in her second start since landing in the U.S. She has a second in three trips at this distance, all overseas and looks as if the extra ground in this spot will suit her. She offers decent value if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line.

Vasilika has won five of her six trips over the turf here including winning the Mabee at 4-1 last out over our top pick. Hollendorfer claimed her for just $40,000 and she ran for $32,000 last November. She has now reeled off six in a row and is a neck short of coming in here riding a nine-race winning streak. She does not have a start at 1 1/4 miles and looks as if she is going to be a short price in this spot.


WIN: #8 to win at 9-5 or better.

EX: 7,8 / 1,6,7,8

TRI: 7,8 / 1,6,7,8 / 1,4,6,7,8


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